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Projects

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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Applied Ecophysiology of Marine Aquaculture Specie...

Forecasting environmental interactions of marine aquaculture activities requires an in-depth understanding of the environment and the species farmed. We are investigating two promising candidates for marine aquaculture: red porgy and ...
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Aquaculture and Eutrophication in Long Island Soun...

Eutrophication is the overabundance of nutrients in a body of water that results in harmful algal blooms, fish kills, and in some cases ecosystem collapse. We are investigating the feasibility ...
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Aquaculture Mapping Atlas and FARM Model

We are integrating two tools commonly used to plan for and site aquaculture: the Farm Aquaculture Resource Management (FARM) Model and the Connecticut Aquaculture Mapping Atlas. This improved tool will ...
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AquaSpace – An Ecosystem Approach to Making Space ...

Aquaculture is a large and growing segment of seafood production because capture fisheries production continues to decline. A major challenge to the expansion of marine aquaculture in most nations is ...
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Are Marine Protected Areas Working in the U.S. Vir...

We used a decade of underwater monitoring data to evaluate the effectiveness of no-take and partial-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) located in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the context of ...
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Assessing Biogeography, Conditions, and Marine Pro...

In 2001, state and federal agencies established the Tortugas Ecological Reserve to protect extensive unspoiled shallow-water coral reefs that support a wide variety of marine life off the Florida Keys ...
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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 ...
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Assessing Social Values Relative to Offshore Wind ...

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM’s) Office of Renewable Energy Programs oversees development of offshore renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). BOEM identified wind energy areas ...
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News

Drone Workshop Grows Partnerships in U.S. Southeas...

Last month's Drones in the Coastal Zone virtual workshop kick-started efforts to establish a regional network and community of expertise in the Southeast United States and the U.S. Caribbean. The ...
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NCCOS Research Informs Oyster Aquaculture Siting i...

Oyster grower Al Smeilus (left) shared access to his intertidal oyster farm within the Masonboro NCNERR, oysters for experiments, and information about farming practices with scientists from UNCW. These data ...
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Researchers Couple Acoustic Telemetry with Habitat...

Map of telemetry results shows how four reef fish communities in St. John, USVI, overlap with marine protected area boundaries. Credit: Kendall et al., 2017. NCCOS is developing new tools ...
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NOAA Supports Development of a Universal Guide for...

As coral reefs continue to degrade globally, there is an increasing need for preservation and restoration of these valuable coastal resources. As coral restoration efforts continue to increase and scale ...
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NCCOS Lends Expertise to Sustainable Seafood Virtu...

This fall, the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future (SFF) Program is hosting a bi-weekly virtual panel series to explore sustainable seafood. The series features scientists and experts ...
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Visitation Patterns Measured at Gray’s Reef Nation...

NCCOS scientists completed the first stage of a collaborative and multidisciplinary study of visitor use patterns at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Understanding visitation at this marine protected area will ...
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Photo Identification Guides for Deep-sea Corals an...

Iridogorgia magnispiralis, southwest Florida escarpment. Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Two new photo identification guides for deep-sea corals and sponges are now available to the public from ...
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New Research Shows Potential Impacts of Climate Ch...

Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). Credit: Lee Richter, National Park Service. A new modeling study by NOAA scientists predicts the future geographic range and population structure of threatened elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) ...
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Seafloor Mapping Mission Supports Better Character...

A goliath grouper over four feet in length inspects the ROV while dozens of other large grouper and massive schools of small fish swarm a steep ledge in Tortugas South ...
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NOAA Scientists Update South East Florida Coral Re...

On September 2nd, 2020, NOAA shared an overview of findings from a joint NOAA/Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) water quality assessment of the south Florida Reef Tract with the ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

The first effort in this location, we mapped the waters surrounding Palmyra Atoll to help researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and evaluate natural and man-made changes over time (e.g., climate change, invasive species eradication, and lagoon causeway mitigation).
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We conducted benthic habitat mapping of shallow-water coral reef areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to inventory the coral reefs and related bottom types. Such an inventory is needed for successful coral reef ecosystem management. This represents the first U.S. coral reef area to be mapped under the purview of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.
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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

Since 2004, we have been conducting seafloor mapping of the U.S. Caribbean, to fill critical informational gaps to support improved management measures in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, targeting high priority sites identified by Jurisdictional managers. This project uses NOAA ship and aircraft to collect and provide detailed information from which we can produce maps of benthic habitats.
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We mapped the shallow-water benthic habitats of two areas off southwest Puerto Rico. This effort improves on previous NOAA benthic habitat maps by using more recent imagery, a smaller minimum mapping unit, and a refined classification scheme. The new maps will support ongoing conservation and management efforts in the region, including restoration of Guánica Bay.
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We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow areas (< 30 m) around St. John and moderate-depth areas (30–60 m) south of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These maps are helping local managers develop place-based strategies to address and remedy specific threats to coral reefs inside Virgin Islands National Park and the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. Project PageView Product

The online Benthic Habitat Viewer (BHV) database, developed and managed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), provides easy access to a large database of underwater imagery characterizing coral reef organisms and habitats. The database holds over 9000 underwater seafloor images, taken during mapping missions from 2004-2006 in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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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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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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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 with Digital Coast, a product of the NOAA National Ocean Service Office of Coastal Management.
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Data & Publications

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 Pilot Survey of Deepwater Coral/Sponge Assemblages and their Susceptibility to Fishing/Harvest Impacts at the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS): Cruise Report for NOAA Ship McARTHUR II Cruise AR-04-04 Leg 2

The offshore shelf and canyon habitats of the OCNMS (Fig. 1) are areas of high primary productivity and biodiversity that support extensive groundfish fisheries. Recent acoustic surveys conducted in these waters have indicated the presence of hard-bottom substrates believed 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 Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Sediments and Fish from Cocos Lagoon, Guam

As part of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) jurisdictional priority gathering, local agencies in Guam identified Cocos Lagoon as an area potentially impacted by land-based sources of pollution. The US Coast Guard operated a Long Range Navigation (LORAN) ...
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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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General Pages

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NOAA Internship Opportunities

Identifying and Summarizing Research: Marine Mamma...

NOAA Fisheries is conducting vulnerability assessments to identify which marine protected species are vulnerable to climate change and what makes them vulnerable. These vulnerability assessments use existing life history information ...
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Documenting reef fish use of offshore reefs and sh...

We are conducting applied marine ecology and conservation studies investigating how reef fishes use a diversity of reef types located on the southeastern continental shelf of the US. Reefs along ...
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Tracking of Caribbean Corals Outplanted from Nurse...

There are seven species of Caribbean coral listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. Two of those species, elkhorn coral and staghorn coral, are extensively cultured in coral ...
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Little St. George Island Sea Turtle Nest Surveyor

The successful applicant will assist with the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve's sea turtle nesting beach surveys on Little St. George Island, FL, an uninhabited barrier island. Surveys consist of ...
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Shorebird Management Internship

Shorebird interns will monitor and manage breeding populations of federally threatened piping plovers, state threatened Wilson’s plovers, American oyster catchers, and colonial nesting waterbirds. In addition, interns will respond to ...
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Avian Ecology Program

The Beach-Nesting Bird Internship is a part-time position at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) in Naples, FL. The objective of this program is to collect nesting and productivity ...
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National Marine Sanctuary System Institutional His...

The Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act was signed into law in 1972. The resulting National Marine Sanctuary System (NMSS) currently consists of 14 marine protected areas that encompass more ...
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Little Port Walter Chinook Salmon Research

The intern will assist researchers conducting studies on the marine environment and salmon returns to marine waters near Little Port Walter (LPW), a remote research station located in southeastern Alaska ...
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Age and Growth Studies of Endangered Atlantic Salm...

NOAA’s Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Research Team monitors emigration of Atlantic salmon smolts in Maine rivers and studies the growth patterns in the scales from both juvenile and adult life stages ...
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Recolonization of the Cedar River by Pacific salmo...

Project description: We are seeking two interns that will be key members of a research team including scientists from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington. Interns ...
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