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NOAA Embarks on Final Expedition to Investigate Coral Ecosystem Connectivity in Gulf of Mexico

Last week, a NOAA-funded investigation of the relatively healthy deep reefs of Pulley Ridge (off the southwest coast of Florida) began its fourth and final expedition. During the two-week mission, the team will launch a remotely operated vehicle from the University of Miami’s R/V F.G. Walton Smith to photograph benthic and fish communities and collect fish […]

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NCCOS Trains Washington State Scientists in Improved Seafloor Mapping Methods

Scientists within NCCOS’ Biogeography Branch develop extensive seafloor maps and depict benthic habitats that better inform policy makers and resource management decisions. But NCCOS also aims to provide guidance for coastal states in conducting their own mapping, data collection and analysis in the future. Increasing state and federal scientific collaboration also supports regional marine spatial […]

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New Recruits Comprise most of Coral Area Found in 2014

A completed analysis from the 2014 expedition to Pulley Ridge based on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) observations revealed significant areas of new coral growth. The findings were compiled from a total of 24 ROV dives to characterize the mesophotic coral reef ecosystems off the southwest coast of Florida and the Tortugas, and determined over 56.5 percent […]

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Regional Water Management Practices Reduce Biscayne Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

In subtropical Biscayne Bay, Florida, NCCOS research reveals decades of water management practices reduce freshwater flow, negatively impacting abundance and composition of the bay’s nearshore submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) communities, fish, and crustaceans. Over the last 50 years, a massive water management system modified the hydrology of the South Florida watershed by altering the quantity, […]

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Reef Fish Movements Tracked in USVI Monument to Assess Boundary Effectiveness

NCCOS and National Park Service (NPS) researchers are evaluating the boundaries of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in Coral Bay, St. John relative to the home range of reef fish that the monument was conceived, in part, to protect. The team has tracked reef fish movements using surgically implanted acoustic transmitters and an […]

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NCCOS Increases the Sonar Survey Accuracy of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

To ensure consistency in the quality of scientific echosounder and sonar data being collected by NOAA research ships, NCCOS has partnered with the Office of Exploration and Research to calibrate the scientific echosounder on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.  Researchers from NCCOS joined the Okeanos in Puerto Rico to conduct the calibration and train the […]

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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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