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Projects

A Cost-benefit Analysis of Green-gray Infrastructu...

Locations of the two estuaries, Grays River and Coos Bay, that are the focus of this project. Credit: Oregon State University. We are evaluating the tradeoffs between gray and green ...

A Multidisciplinary, Integrative Approach to Valui...

We are estimating the economic value from natural and nature-based infrastructure investments to stabilize coastline. Using hazard risks along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast, we are assigning a dollar value ...

Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements to Support Hab...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of fish in several coastal ecosystems. Our objectives are to document habitat preferences of fish, the timing and scales of their mobility, and ...

Advancing Natural Solutions to Sea Level Rise Impa...

We are advancing technical guidance to provide resource managers critical information to better prioritize and weigh trade offs among different coastal management strategies along 300 miles of the north-central California ...

An Early Warning System for Pseudo-nitzschia Harmf...

Blooms of some species of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia produce a neurotoxin that accumulates in shellfish, which can cause illness and even death in humans who eat them. Shellfish managers monitor ...

An Ecological Assessment to Support NOAA’s Choptan...

The Choptank watershed is an ecologically and economically valuable resource and designated Habitat Focus Area. We are collecting and synthesizing biological, chemical, and physical data to characterize the condition of ...

Assessing Blue Carbon Storage at Sites Restored th...

To mitigate the impacts of climate change, there is a global initiative to quantify and award carbon credits for restoration and conservation of blue carbon habitats. These habitats are known ...

Assessing Community Vulnerability to Flood Hazard ...

Coral Bay, St. John, USVI, after Hurricane Irma, September 25, 2017. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Charles Brock/FOUO (via FEMA Historic Disasters). Communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) ...

Assessing Community Vulnerability to Flood Hazards...

High tide flooding in the inner harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, December, 12, 2023. Credit: https://mycoast.org/ Coastal communities in the United States are forced to grapple with flooding, storms, and ...

Assessing Coral Bleaching in Four U.S. Caribbean M...

In 2005, high sea temperatures caused coral bleaching in the Caribbean. The goals of this this project were to characterize the spatial extent of coral bleaching and recovery and to ...

News

New Study Highlights Knowledge Clusters and Gaps o...

A restored reef off Kota Kinabalu, Borneo with a mix of concrete Reef Balls, an artificial reef structure, and a variety of out-planted natural corals. Credit: Curt Storlazzi (USGS). Shallow, ...

Help Scientists Restore Gulf of Mexico Habitats wi...

Photo of deep-sea reef community in Gulf of Mexico, collected as part of the research team’s restoration activities, 2022. Credit: NOAA. Vital seafloor habitats in the mesophotic and deep benthic ...

New Research Describes Performance of Nature Based...

One of the more significant impediments to the widespread adoption of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for coastal protection is a lack of empirical evidence about how NBS perform. NBS involves ...

Sediment Management Guide Supports Coastal Resilie...

Doran Beach, California, helps protect wetlands and a key harbor from storm surge and rising sea levels, but the dunes are gradually eroding and need to adapt to future changes ...

Flood Control Work Begins at USS North Carolina Ba...

Earlier this month, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Living with Water® project, which will address nuisance flooding at the memorial and preserve visitor ...

Modeling Identifies Locations for Elkhorn Coral Re...

Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). Credit: NOAA. NCCOS scientists and partners published research that predicts which locations along the Florida reef tract would be most conducive to the survival of nursery-reared ...

NCCOS Science Supports Oyster Restoration in Chesa...

Aquaculture researchers with NCCOS's Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, Maryland, are helping the Severn River Association test cost-saving oyster restoration techniques in the Severn River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay ...

Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

This Data Explorer Map contains ecological and socioeconomic datasets including management boundaries, human use activities, fish and oyster surveys, and benthic habitats in the NOAA Choptank Habitat Focus Area (HFA) Ecosystem Assessment. The tool allows managers, stakeholders and the general public to visualize data that assists with decision-making about management of the ecosystem in the Choptank watershed.
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NS&T is comprised of three nationwide programs, Benthic Surveillance, Mussel Watch and Bioeffects that are designed to describe the current status of, and detect changes in, the environmental quality of our nation's estuarine and coastal waters through environmental monitoring, assessment and related research. In addition, NS&T has also completed special studies designed to help assess the environmental impacts of various events.
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The NCCOS Regional Ecological Assessments (REA) website provides access to data contained in the Coastal Ecology Database, which were collected as part of a series of Regional Ecological Assessments conducted by NCCOS and partners throughout various estuarine, coastal, and continental shelf areas of the U.S.
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NCCOS scientists have developed an easy-to-use numerical wave exposure model (WEMo) that uses linear wave theory to calculate actual wave height and derived wave energy while taking into consideration wind generation and local water depth characteristics such as shoaling and dissipation from breaking waves. WEMo also provides predictions of seafloor sediment movement.
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Data & Publications

A comparison of seafloor habitats and associated benthic fauna in areas open and closed to bottom trawling along the central California continental shelf

A number of studies have shown that mobile, bottom-contact fishing gear (such as otter trawls) can alter seafloor habitats and associated biota. Considerably less is known about the recovery of these resources following such disturbances, though this information is critical ...

A coupled physical-biological model of the Northern Gulf of Mexico shelf: model description, validation and analysis of phytoplankton variability

The Texas-Louisiana shelf in the Northern Gulf of Mexico receives large inputs of nutrients and freshwater from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River system. The nutrients stimulate high rates of primary production in the river plume, which contributes to the development of a ...

A Decade of Water Level Changes along the New River Estuary in North Carolina, USA

From 2008-2018, our program evaluated coastal marsh resilience to changes in inundation along the New River Estuary in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL) near Jacksonville, NC. To properly contextualize marsh parameters and processes across a range of tidal influence, ...

A guinea pig's tale: learning to review end-to-end marine ecosystem models for management applications

A shift towards ecosystem-based management in recent decades has led to new analytical tools such as end-to-end marine ecosystem models. End-to-end models are complex and typically simulate full ecosystems from oceanography to foodwebs and fisheries, operate on a spatial framework, ...

A modeling study of physical controls on hypoxia generation in the northern Gulf of Mexico

The Louisiana shelf (LA shelf) in the northern Gulf of Mexico experiences hypoxic conditions every summer due to the combination of eutrophication and strong water column stratification. Here we use a three-dimensional circulation model coupled with a simple oxygen model ...

A quantitative genetic approach to assess the evolutionary potential of a coastal marine fish to ocean acidification

Assessing the potential of marine organisms to adapt genetically to increasing oceanic CO2 levels requires proxies such as heritability of fitness-related traits under ocean acidification (OA). We applied a quantitative genetic method to derive the first heritability estimate of survival ...

Advancing Coastal Science 2017-2021

Advancing Coastal Science lays out four priorities developed as a result of a lengthy stakeholder engagement process. These priorities will be our driving force over the next five years, and will guide NCCOS’s science and competitive research investments. NCCOS will ...

An Earth's Future Special Collection: Impacts of the coastal dynamics of sea level rise on low-gradient coastal landscapes

Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems, including altered habitats and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and recurrent inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where low topography, marshes, and a ...

An ecosystem services assessment using bioextraction technologies for removal of nitrogen and other substances in Long Island Sound and the Great Bay/Piscataqua Region Estuaries

A State-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Nutrient Innovations Task Group concluded in a 2009 report (State -- EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group, 2009) that 'continuing the status quo at the national, state, and local levels and relying upon our current practices ...

An Integrated Assessment Model for Helping the United States Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Fishery Plan Ahead for Ocean Acidification and Warming

Ocean acidification, the progressive change in ocean chemistry caused by uptake of atmospheric CO2, is likely to affect some marine resources negatively, including shellfish. The Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) supports one of the most economically important single-species commercial fisheries ...

General Pages

Climate Change

Changes in climate and an increase in extreme events can alter coastal ecosystems and the services those ecosystems provide to support our coastal communities and economy. NCCOS’s research efforts seek ...

Climate Impacts on Ecosystems: Threats and Opportunities

NCCOS conducts multidisciplinary ecological research to assess and predict how environmental changes from climate variability affect the distributions of coastal habitats and species, as well as the functioning of coastal ...

Coastal Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is driven predominantly by ocean uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), resulting in global-scale changes in ocean chemistry with predictions of broad-scale ecosystem impacts. Coastal acidification, which refers ...

Community and Social Vulnerability

Climate change and its associated rising and warming sea levels and intensifying weather events disproportionately impact coastal communities, including populations who are already vulnerable due to social or economic factors ...

ESLR Event Response Program

The pursuit of more resilient coastal communities and ecosystems has led to international efforts to better quantify environmental resilience and realize flood protection solutions with diverse benefits. The resilience of ...

Gulf MDBC Restoration

Mesophotic and deep benthic communities are vast and complex ecosystems on the ocean floor that are foundational to Gulf of Mexico food webs. Mesophotic benthic communities are found at water ...

Restoration

NCCOS research helps inform and drive strategic restoration and management of coastal habitats in order to enhanceecosystem services. Our research provides the science, models, and tools required for evaluating performance ...

Restoration and Nature-Based Solutions

Coastal storms, flooding, and rising seas combined with loss of habitat and biodiversity threaten coastal communities, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Nature-based solutions involve the intentional use of natural and nature-based features ...

Sea Level Rise and Inundation

We deliver improved assessments of natural resources and community vulnerability to inundation under current and future sea level rise scenarios. This is accomplished by a variety of teams of scientists ...

NOAA Internship Opportunities

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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