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Projects

A Marine Biogeographic Assessment of the Northwest...

We conducted a biogeographic assessment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the second largest marine protected area in the world. The effort was the most comprehensive view of the area’s oceanography, ...
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Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements in Two Coral R...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of reef fish among habitats in two underwater parks under different management strategies in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our objectives are to ...
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An Assessment of Chemical Contaminants in Sediment...

We studied the coastal waters of southwest Puerto Rico to find out what kind and how much pollution (chemical contaminants) are in sediments and corals (Porites astreoides) and how that ...
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An Ecological Assessment to Support NOAA’s Choptan...

We synthesized biological, chemical, and physical data from six watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay to assess impacts of land use on aquatic ecosystem health. The findings from this study are ...
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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 ...
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An Ecological Characterization of the Marine Resou...

We studied the coastal waters of Vieques, Puerto Rico, looking at fish and bottom-dwelling animals, contaminants in sediments and corals, and nutrient levels in surface waters. We also mapped the ...
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An Economic Analysis of Shipping Costs Related to ...

Through an analysis of shipping costs, we provided scientific guidance to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and other agencies, regarding the economic effects of potential management measures that ...
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Analysis of Marine Ecological Information Gaps in ...

We compiled and analyzed biological and ecological data to identify information voids in support of the National Park Service’s (NPS) management of marine resources within its jurisdiction. The biological and ...
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Analysis of the Distribution and Abundance of Grou...

We developed maps of occurrence and relative abundance for selected groundfish off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, within the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). Our project supports ...
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News

NOAA’s Deep-sea Coral Study in U.S. Southeas...

NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program recently completed its second year of the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative (SEDCI), a four-year effort to study deep-sea coral ecosystems throughout the southeast ...
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Taxonomic Guide of Bermuda’s Black Corals Pu...

Black coral species Stichopathes pourtalesi photographed at depth of 984 feet off Bermuda. This and two other black coral species were not known to exist in Bermuda prior to this ...
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Genomics Guides Restoration of Coral Affected by D...

A team of scientists and explorers, including researchers from the NCCOS Deep Coral Ecology Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, completed its first season of fieldwork in the Gulf of Mexico, ...
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Living in the Dark: Expedition in Search of Deep-s...

This past August, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science led an 18-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster to explore deep-sea coral ecosystems off the Southeast U.S. The research team ...
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Mapping Underwater Resources of Lake Michigan

NCCOS teamed up with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory to collect 322 underwater videos off the coast of Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. The ...
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Digital Atlas for the Northeast Marine Corridor of...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Office for Coastal Management (OCM) are pleased to announce two new decision-support products to assist managers in strategic planning for sustainable ...
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NOAA Completes Successful Coral Reef Monitoring Se...

NOAA completed two sampling missions in the U. S. Virgin Islands (USVI) this summer. The first mission was conducted in St. Croix from June 12-June 23, and the second in ...
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Light Shed on Hawaiian Reef Fish Food Sources and ...

NOAA-funded scientists studying the diets of 22 species of Hawaiian coral reef fish living at both shallow (0-30 meters) and mesophotic (30-150 meters) depths found that the food source differed ...
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Research Links Land Use, Shoreline Hardening, and ...

Recent NCCOS research provides solid evidence that reduced aquatic species abundance in the Northeast is linked with increased agricultural land use and hardened shorelines. Results from the study are published ...
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Can You Guess What Deep-sea Animal We Saw off the ...

This past spring NCCOS scientists and their partners explored and mapped part of the seafloor in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (see May 30 news post). The data gathered are being ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

BIOMappers let you interactively view data, aerial imagery, dive photography, underwater video and related publications developed for the benthic habitat mapping of many U.S. coral reefs. In addition to viewing benthic habitat data, you can examine the attributes of the data and show different thematic representations. Photos and videos taken during dive missions are linked to the location of the dives.
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North Carolina has some of the best conditions to support offshore wind energy in the Southeast U.S. Three wind energy areas (WEA) identified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are being evaluated for potential commercial wind energy development: Wilmington-West and Wilmington-East near Cape Fear, and Kitty Hawk near the North Carolina-Virginia border.
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NCCOS produced a georeferenced, digital atlas of benthic habitat maps for the shallow-water (< 30m) coral ecosystem habitats around these U.S. Pacific Territories. The maps support a variety of management applications, including informing resource management decisions, ensuring safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.
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Benthic habitat maps for the Buck Island Reef National Monument, north of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands was developed. The bathymetry (depth) data we collected was used to update nautical charts in the area, and the related habitat maps we developed are being used by local managers to plan research projects and site-related infrastructure inside the monument, such as placing receivers for the acoustic tracking of fish and sea turtles.
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Deep-sea corals provide important habitats for many marine species, including commercial fish. This data will be used to target areas for deep-sea coral surveys and to develop a predictive model to identify where deep-sea corals are likely to occur. The information will help coastal managers conserve these fragile ecosystems.
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Benthic habitat maps were developed for shallow-water (< 40 meters) areas in and around Fish Bay, Coral Bay, and the St. Thomas East End Reserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These maps will help local managers and stakeholders develop place-based action strategies, providing road maps to address key threats to coral reefs in these areas. This effort marks the first time that high resolution depth imagery and digital maps describing over 85 percent of the seafloor are available to local managers.
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NOAA mapped the shallow-water (less than 25 meters deep) coral reef ecosystems of the Florida Keys to support research, conservation, and management activities of state and federal agencies, including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.
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In the Data Collection you will find data, maps, imagery and selected publications from the 2003 and 2007 phases of the Main Hawaiian Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping project.
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A benthic habitat map of coral reef ecosystems around Majuro, an atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands was developed. The maps were created from satellite images and depict coral reefs, seagrass, sand, reef flats, and other ecosystem features in the shallow waters of the atoll. Benthic maps are foundational tools for monitoring, conservation, development planning, stock assessments and other management actions.
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We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow (<30 meters) areas around the main islands of the Republic of Palau to help local managers and researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and develop place-based action strategies to address key issues and remedy specific threats to coral reefs. Project PageView Product

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Data & Reports

A Biogeographic Assessment off North/Central California: In Support of the National Marine Sanctuaries of Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay. Phase II Environmental Setting and Update to Marine Birds and Mammals

This document is Phase II of a biogeographic assessment completed in 2004, described below. In the spring of 2001, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) launched a project to assess biogeographic patterns ...
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A pilot study to determine the movements of buoy line used in the crab pot fishery to assess bottlenose dolphin entanglement

A pilot study on the characteristics of crab pot buoy line movements to assess bottlenose dolphin entanglement was conducted from 19 September to 30 September 2005 in the Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina. The objectives of this study were to ...
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A surveillance strategy for invasive species of concern in deepwater habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

This document provides strategies to detect deepwater invasive species in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) in support of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM). The strategies use technical diving to conduct visual surveys and focus on two invasive species of ...
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Acoustic tracking of reef fishes to elucidate habitat utilization patterns and residence times inside and outside marine protected areas around the island of St. John, USVI

This technical memorandum describes a developing project under the direction of NOAA's Biogeography Branch in consultation with the National Park Service and US Geological Survey to understand and quantify spatial patterns and habitat affinities of reef fishes in the US ...
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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 ...
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An assessment of chemical contaminants detected in passive water samplers deployed in the St. Thomas east end reserves (STEER)

This report is the second in a series from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, USVI, and is the result of a collaborative effort ...
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An assessment of chemical contaminants, toxicity and benthic infauna in sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

This report contains a chemical and biological characterization of sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The STEER Management Plan (published in 2011) identified chemical contaminants and habitat loss as high ...
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An assessment of contaminant body burdens in the coral (Porites astreoides) and Queen conch (Strombus gigas) from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

As part of the joint effort between the US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the NOAA Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS), to conduct a Reserves-wide impact assessment of land-based sources of pollution and effects ...
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An assessment of nutrients, sedimentation, and total suspended solids (TSS) in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

This is the fifth report from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LSBPs) and their effects, and to characterize the biological community with the St. Thomas East End Reserves (Steer) in St. Thomas, USVI. Here we summarize the ...
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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 ...
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General Pages

Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (CAPP)

The Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (CAPP) is a toolbox of coastal planning tools designed to assist managers, planners, and industry with sustainable aquaculture development. This toolbox was developed in partnership ...
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Marine Spatial Ecology

Marine Spatial EcologyEcological and Biogeographic AssessmentsStewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources is one of the primary purposes of the National Ocean Service, and NCCOS’s nationally-recognized ecological and biogeographic ...
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Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems

Mesophotic Coral EcosystemsWith the well-documented decline of coral reefs, lesser-understood "mesophotic" or "twilight" reefs (found 30 to 150 meters beneath the ocean surface) may serve as sources of fish and ...
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NOAA Internship Opportunities

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
1305 East West Highway, Rm 8110
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
Email: nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov