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Projects

A Geospatial Assessment of U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ...

Offshore sand resources, e.g., sand shoals, are increasingly being used for beach renourishment, barrier island restoration, and other uses to enhance resiliency of shorelines. However, the impact of sand dredging ...
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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 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 ...
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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 Assessment of Fisheries Species to Inform Time-...

Environmental windows or moratoria are used by federal and state regulators in resource management to temporarily reduce adverse environmental impacts associated with coastal development. Seasonal restrictions on construction activities can ...
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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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News

Tred Avon River Coastal Ecological Assessment: Tre...

Aerial view of Oxford, Maryland. Credit G. Messick. Story Map on Tred Avon River Coastal Ecological Assessment. A Story Map highlights research results of an ecosystem assessment of land use ...
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NOAA Study Finds Artificial Reefs Enhance Fish Com...

Structures, such as vessels, concrete pipes, and bridge pieces, are intentionally placed on the seafloor as artificial reefs. These artificial reefs can be effective tools for enhancing fish communities, but ...
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NOAA, BOEM Develop New Tool to Reduce Dredging Imp...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and Quantum Spatial, Inc. recently completed a 2-year study, funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ...
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NCCOS Science Supports Creation of New Maps for Al...

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) contributed data to the Allen Coral Atlas project to support development of new, sea bottom maps for western Micronesia, as ...
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Water Cleaning Capacity of Oysters Could Mean Extr...

Oysters are one of the most valuable fisheries in Chesapeake Bay, with annual commercial landings valued at more than $40 million. A large part of this harvest comes from aquaculture ...
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Scientists Assess Water Quality of Southeast Flori...

Aerial photo of plume at Boca Raton Inlet. Credit: Florida Department of Environmental Protection. NOAA and partners have published a report that describes water quality along the southeast Florida Reef ...
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NOAA and USGS Release Follow-up Report on the Deve...

NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the RESTORE Council have released the second of seven reports ...
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Spatial Analysis Completed to Prioritize U.S. Cari...

NCCOS recently completed the spatial analysis that will guide the prioritization of future seafloor mapping, research, and exploration in the U.S. Caribbean. With input from regional stakeholders, the research team ...
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NCCOS Supports 20-year Plan to Restore Seven Coral...

In collaboration with state and local partners, NOAA has announced a bold strategy to restore and preserve seven coral reef sites in the Florida Keys, part of an unprecedented, decades-long ...
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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

Data & Publications

2000 years of sustainable use of watersheds and coral reefs in Pacific Islands: A review for Palau

In Palau and everywhere in the world, coastal coral reefs are threatened by sedimentation resulting from land clearing in the watersheds. Palau's largest island of Babeldaob is particularly susceptible to significant erosion due to its steep topography, high rainfall, and ...
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2012 Data Summary for the First Island-wide Fish and Coral Assessment in Shallow (1-100′) Hardbottom Habitats of St. Croix, USVI

A collaborative research effort between the NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment’s (CCMA) Biogeography Branch (BB) and the National Park Service South Florida and Caribbean Network (NPS-SFCN) has been inventorying and assessing ...
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2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring the Deep Waters off Hawai‘i

New Frontiers in Ocean Exploration: The E/V Nautilus, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, and R/V Falkor 2016 Field Season is the seventh consecutive supplement on ocean exploration to accompany Oceanography. These booklets provide details about the innovative technologies deployed to investigate ...
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2018: a shift in focus in deep-sea explorations

In 2017, the Campaign to Address Pacific Monument Science, Technology and Ocean Needs (CAPSTONE), completed its successful three-year effort to explore deep-sea habitats across the central and western Pacific Ocean. In 2018, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will shift its geographic ...
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A Benthic Terrain Classification Scheme for American Samoa

Coral reef ecosystems, the most varied on earth, continually face destruction from anthropogenic and natural threats. The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force seeks to characterize and map priority coral reef ecosystems in the U.S./Trust Territories by 2009. Building upon NOAA ...
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A biogeographic assessment of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: A review of boundary expansion concepts for NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program

This biogeographic assessment represents the continuation of an ongoing partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS). The purpose of this collaboration is to provide sanctuary managers with basic information on ...
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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 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 ...
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A comprehensive investigation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago

Although the existence of coral-reef habitats at depths to 165 m in tropical regions has been known for decades, the richness, diversity, and ecological importance of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) has only recently become widely acknowledged. During an interdisciplinary effort ...
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A guide to monitoring reef fish in the National Park Service’s South Florida/Caribbean Network

The goal of this guide is to provide the framework for park managers and researchers to create or enhance a reef fish monitoring program within areas monitored by the SFCN. The framework is expected to be applicable to other areas ...
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General Pages

Coastal Aquaculture

Coastal Planning and SitingDeveloping spatial products and services to support aquaculture siting and coastal managementEnvironmental InteractionsConducting research to understand the interactions between aquaculture and the surrounding environmentEcosystem ServicesExploring how aquaculture ...
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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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Wave Exposure Model (WEMo)

Wave Exposure Model (WEMo)Go directly to download and system requirementsThe IssueHydrodynamic factors profoundly impact the environment of coastal areas. Wind waves, particularly waves associated with storms, are unpredictable and can ...
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WEMo Download

Download the Wave Exposure Model (WEMo)If you have any installation problems, please contact nccos.webcontent@noaa.govTerms and Conditions of UseBy using this software tool, you indicate your awareness of and consent to ...
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NOAA Internship Opportunities

Science Sparks: Communicating science to diverse a...

This internship provides an opportunity for an applicant to work with BOTH a research team and a communications team to develop new products for communicating fisheries and ecosystem science to ...
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Sea Turtle Ecology Science Communication

Our Turtle Ecology team would like to work with a detail-oriented, self-motivated student who has a passion for bringing marine science into the public realm. Our collaborative group of federal, ...
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Tracking transport of cold stunned turtles with dr...

The project involves working with academic colleagues at URI and Mass Audubon in Wellfleet to design, build, and deploy various types of drifters in Cape Cod Bay as well as ...
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From data to insights: Utilizing exploratory geoph...

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is the only federal organization dedicated to exploring the ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. OER uses ...
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Assessing Trends in Sea Turtle Nesting, Stranding,...

The intern will work closely with Section 7 biologists in the Protected Resources Division Interagency Cooperation and Sea Turtle and Fisheries Coordination branches at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office ...
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Managing Protected Marine Species in Hawaii

Depending on the skill set and interest of the candidate, they may work on a 5-year review of a species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a status review ...
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Finding Physiological Features for Fisheries Model...

The Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch (EDAB) at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) is looking for a summer intern to work closely the branch to aid in the extension ...
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(Science) Investigating animal presence throughout...

Intern will assist in data management and processing for several on-going sanctuary research projects, including acoustic telemetry downloads and identifications. Expected product may include some analyses of acoustic telemetry data, ...
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How accurate are the “best” commercial...

In-season near real-time management of catch quotas are enabled through the use of a substantial at-sea observer program. On larger vessels, catch weights are obtained through the use of motion ...
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Development of automated image analysis for underw...

Roughly 40 million images of the sea floor have been collected by the NOAA Habcam vehicle since 2012. Only about 2% of these have been annotated by humans for objects ...
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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

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