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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 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...

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

NCCOS Partnerships Support Coastal Communities in ...

NCCOS’ Oxford Lab Director, an NCCOS scientist, and partners from Maryland Sea Grant, University of Maryland Extension (UME), and 38o North Oysters gave a joint presentation ‘Oyster Aquaculture and Ecosystem Services’ ...
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First Observations of Seeps, Shipwrecks, Species R...

This spring, scientists completed a 23-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, collecting data on poorly understood deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The researchers used remotely operated vehicles ...
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NCCOS Supports Flower Garden Banks National Marine...

NCCOS scientists developed a biogeographic assessment and a geospatial decision support tool to help inform the proposed expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary’s (FGBNMS) boundaries. The team ...
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Lionfish Prefer to Eat Local

In recent years, Indo-Pacific lionfish have been found in coral reefs throughout the southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Credit: NOAA Invasive lionfish are generalist, opportunistic predators, meaning they ...
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NCCOS Assessment Supports Effective Management of ...

Human activities are threatening the health and function of the State of Hawaii's coral reefs, which provide economic benefits estimated at over $360 million each year. At least 30 percent ...
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NOAA Evaluates Drones to Map Coastline and Nearsho...

Last month, NCCOS scientists and their partners tested the utility of drone technology to map the coastline and nearshore waters of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The team evaluated ...
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NOAA Begins Mission to Explore Deep-sea Habitats i...

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Credit: NOAA Yesterday, scientists began a 23-day mission aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect baseline information on poorly understood deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The ...
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Shoreline Hardening and Development Hurts Shorebir...

A new NCCOS-sponsored study shows that using artificial structures to protect coastal land and property from the sea can harm water birds. The research, conducted in Chesapeake Bay and published ...
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New Tools Available in NCCOS Coastal Aquaculture P...

NCCOS Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal. Since its launch in 2016, the Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (CAPP) has nearly doubled its inventory of unique tools and resources for coastal managers, planners, ...
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Acoustic Monitoring Reveals Hurricane Maria’...

Students from the University of Puerto Rico service one of the project's acoustic recording devices, known as a hydrophone. Credit: Rebecca Becicka, University of Puerto Rico. Passive listening devices placed ...
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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 & 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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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 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 new encrusting deep-water coral reef alga, Peyssonnelia incomposita (Peyssonneliaceae, Rhodophyta), from Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea

A new Peyssonnelia species is described from deep-water habitats in Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Peyssonnelia incomposita is distinctive when living due its background orange coloration with highly contrasting bright yellow highlights. Internally the thallus is ...
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A new species of Atergopedia (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Novocriniidae) from a Caribbean mesophotic reef

Coordinated research efforts in mesophotic coral reefs are only a decade old, but have already produced exciting findings in ecology, physiology, geomorphology, population genetics, biodiversity, and taxonomy. In this taxonomic contribution, we describe both sexes of a new copepod species ...
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A new species of Longipedia Claus, 1863 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Longipediidae) from Caribbean mesophotic reefs with remarks on the phylogenetic affinities of Polyarthra

Mesophotic coral reefs are largely unexplored nearshore habitats. We present illustrations of both sexes of a new copepod species of the family Longipediidae Sars, 1903 collected via scuba-diving with tri-mix rebreathers from mesophotic coral reefs in Puerto Rico as an ...
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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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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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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

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