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Latest News and Feature Stories

Reducing the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Using Operational Hypoxia Scenario Models

A recently released white paper assesses the status of several empirical and deterministic models capable of characterizing Gulf hypoxia, also known as the Gulf dead zone. “Modeling Approaches for Scenario Forecasts for Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia” presents conclusions from the 2013 joint NOAA and Northern Gulf Institute Forum for the Gulf of Mexico Research and Coordination […]

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Mesophotic Habitats Are a Refuge for Large, Overfished Species in Southwest Puerto Rico

NCCOS-supported research found that commercially important fish, such as snappers and groupers, off southwest Puerto Rico are more abundant at mesophotic depths (60–80 meters) than shallow depths (30 meters or less). The study, published in the journal Coral Reefs, suggests that mesophotic coral ecosystems serve as a refuge for heavily exploited, shallow-water reef species and […]

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Pulley Ridge Corals Show Potential Signs of Recovery After 10-Year Decline

An NCCOS-funded study has produced a detailed characterization of the deep (60–80 meters), mesophotic reefs and fish populations of Pulley Ridge, located off the southwest coast of Florida. While the study shows a decade-long decrease in coral cover at Pulley Ridge, when compared with data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2003, the findings […]

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NCCOS Works to Track and Eliminate Freshwater Algal Toxins

A new study has documented the fate of microcystins—the most common of the freshwater blue-green algae toxins—and the challenges for monitoring them. The study is part of a larger NCCOS-sponsored project whose goal is to identify bacteria capable of degrading microcystins and to develop an affordable and efficient water filtration system to house such microorganisms. Microcystins inhibit and […]

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Invasive Lionfish Web Portal Supports Community Management and Education

The newly released Invasive Lionfish Web Portal, developed by the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in partnership with NOAA, supports the managment and control of lionfish in conservation areas along the Southeast coast of the U.S. and Caribbean. The invasive lionfish now threatens reef communities from North Carolina to South America with extreme impacts to […]

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NOAA Estimates Nitrogen Removal Rates from Shellfish Farms around the World

Excessive nutrient input into estuarine and coastal environments, also known as eutrophication, can lead to algal blooms, oxygen depletion, fish kills, and a general loss of key habitats. New research from NOAA supports using shellfish aquaculture for nutrient removal and eutrophication reduction. To include shellfish aquaculture as part of a comprehensive approach to nutrient management, scientists measured […]

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U.S. Department of Transportation Updates Coastal Infrastructure Risk Assessment Using NCCOS Research

Modeling concepts developed by the NCCOS sponsored Gulf of Mexico Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise (EESLR) project are being used by the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as a case study in the latest DOT hydraulic engineering manual. The manual, “Highways in the Coastal Environment: Assessing Extreme Events,” provides technical guidance and methods […]

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Does Oyster Aquaculture Affect Nitrogen Loss From Sediments?

Off-bottom oyster aquaculture (Crassostrea virginica) is currently being investigated for possible effects on nutrient processes of surrounding sediments by  a Virginia Sea Grant Research Fellow, Abby Lunstrum, under the guidance of an NCCOS mentor. The research assesses whether, and to what extent, biodeposition from this type of aquaculture operations stimulates loss of nitrogen from the […]

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