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Scientific Maps of Fragile Pacific Coral Ecosystem Provide Baseline Data for Conservation and Study

Corals and fish in the clear, blue waters off Palmyra.

Corals and fish in the clear, blue waters off Palmyra.

To support the development of the first digital seafloor habitat mapping tool for Palmyra Atoll, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science undertook an accuracy assessment data (“ground truthing”) collection trip in June, 2010. During the three-week mission, the group collected data to outline the distribution of coral reef ecosystems and fish communities within Palmyra Atoll’s shallow-water areas. NCCOS’s benthic habitat maps will provide a foundation for research and ecosystem-based management for years to come.

Located within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, Palmyra Atoll is home to a pristine and diverse coral reef ecosystem and a large population of nesting seabirds, making it a hotbed for ocean science. This project is being conducted through support and collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=1707

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