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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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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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Oyster Gardening Improves Water Quality, Featured by National Geographic

The innovative “Maryland Grows Oysters” program, designed to use oyster restoration for improvement of water quality in Chesapeake Bay, was featured in a National Geographic video released on October 9. The project uses cages first produced by inmates at the Hagerstown Correctional Facility and then filled with baby oysters (or spat), which are attached to docks at volunteer study locations within the Chesapeake […]

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Alaskan Tribal Communities Trained for Testing Paralytic Shellfish Toxins

Last October, two cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) were confirmed  after butter clams containing PSP toxins were harvested for personal consumption from a beach near Sitka, Alaska. Elevated PSP levels have prompted the state to close most southeast Alaska commercial shellfishery areas. However, recreational and subsistence shellfishers in the region remain at risk to […]

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