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Hardened Shorelines Make it Hard for Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

A recent NCCOS-funded study found that shoreline hardening, particularly riprap, has a negative effect on the abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Riprap, which is made up of rocks and boulders piled along the shoreline, is commonly used to prevent shoreline erosion, but once installed, alters the natural processes and composition of the land–sea interface. The […]

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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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NCCOS Improves Seagrass Coverage Estimates in North Carolina

NCCOS researchers applied an alternative method to improve classifying and calculating the extent of shallow seagrass ecosystems using digital aerial photographs in a recent study. The technique, linear spectral unmixing, is known for its success in classifying other shallow coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, based on satellite multispectral imagery, but never seagrass. In this instance, aerial […]

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First Estimates of Trap Debris in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Now Available

Over 85,000 spiny lobster ghost traps and over 1 million non-fishing traps or remnants of traps are estimated to be present on the seafloor of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calculated these estimates following completion of 151 […]

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Scientists Look at 10 Years of Data to Characterize St. John’s Coral Reefs and Fish Populations

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science recently integrated 10 years of baseline monitoring data (2001–2009) to characterize the spatial and temporal patterns in coral reefs and seafloor communities within and around the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument and Virgin Islands National Park. The new report also documents how these marine resources […]

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NCCOS Responds to Harmful Algal Bloom Event Threatening Florida’s Indian River Lagoon

The NCCOS Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program approved a request supporting rapid response to a harmful algal bloom (HAB) in the Indian River Lagoon system of East Central Florida. Dr. Chris Gobler from Stonybrook University will work with the St. Johns River Water Management District to map the extent of the 2013 Brown Tide […]

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Manatees Are Dying in Droves, Florida Says ‘Too Bad’ I TakePart.com Environment

‘Red tide’ and a loss of sea grass account for some manatee deaths, but researchers believe undiscovered factors are also at play.  A record number of endangered manatees are dying in Florida’s waterways. So far this year, 582 manatees have died, more than any year on record, according to preliminary numbers from the Florida Fish […]

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Maps of Coral Reef Ecosystem Habitats Enhance Conservation Efforts

Since 2000, the National Ocean Service and its partners have mapped more than 3 million acres (12,100 km2) of shallow-water (0-30 meters) coral reef habitats spanning the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean. The results of this body of work are summarized in a new report released by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), National Summary […]

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