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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 ...

A Global Review of Protected Species Interactions ...

As marine aquaculture expands to the open ocean in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, there is increased concern about how protected species may be affected. We have summarized the ...

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, ...

A Pilot Assessment of Fish Habitat in Choptank Riv...

Fish and shellfish populations depend on healthy habitats. To help understand and manage these habitats in the Chesapeake Bay, we will develop a GIS-based analytical framework that might be used ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Aquaculture Opportunity Areas for Federal Waters o...

The increasing demand for American-grown seafood and improved technology to farm in the open ocean provides incentive for aquaculture expansion. A recent step toward domestic aquaculture development was the Presidential ...

News

A Guide to Large-Area Imaging for Coral Reef Monit...

NCCOS and partners are using large-area imaging (LAI) to monitor shallow water coral reefs and restoration. Now, they’ve published a guidance document outlining standard operating procedures and concepts of photogrammetry ...

Request for Information: Identifying Aquaculture O...

In June 2023, NOAA and the state of Alaska announced a collaborative effort to identify Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in Alaska's waters, focusing on sustainable invertebrates (shellfish, sea cucumber, etc.) ...

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Sampling in...

Figure shows all sites completed from August 7-11, 2023 across St Thomas and St John, USVI (n = 287). NOAA scientists have recently completed surveying the status of coral reef ...

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Sampling in...

NOAA divers surfacing just offshore of Old San Juan. All diving operations were performed aboard the charter vessel Simply Caught 2, captained by Frank Askew. NOAA scientists are conducting surveys ...

New Research Sheds Light on Altered Freshwater Flo...

Bethany Williams and Arliss Winship pull in a trawl to survey fish in Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. A new publication in Estuaries and Coasts demonstrates how human-altered freshwater ...

NOAA, USGS Investigate Mesophotic Coral Biology to...

Mesophotic and deep benthic communities were injured across a large area in the Gulf of Mexico by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in 2010. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

Tracking Fish Movements to Understand Habitat Conn...

National marine sanctuaries protect America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. To assess the effectiveness of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) at protecting habitat for key ...

NOAA Undergraduate Scholar Joins Gulf of Mexico Re...

In 2022, NOAA and partners completed eight expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico in support of four projects designed to help restore mesophotic and deep benthic communities damaged by the ...

New Report Summarizes National Coral Reef Monitori...

Summary statistics for the 2020-2021 sampling completed in Florida. A report released in October 2022 describes the status and trends of Florida's coral reef ecosystem using data from the National ...

Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

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

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 Ecological Assessment of Storm Impacts website includes a database of chemical and toxicological information on contaminants permitted for use in the St. Johns River Watershed, Florida, and the lower Columbia River watershed in Oregon and Washington.
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This Data Explorer Map contains datasets including marine environment, benthic habitats, fishes, sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds off the Main Hawaiian Islands. This work supports the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) review of lease requests for renewable energy projects in federal waters, to minimize potential impacts to the ecosystem. This assessment is part of a larger process by BOEM and State of Hawaii to evaluate renewable energy proposals offshore of MHI.
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Access deep sea coral and sponge data: Digital Map allows for search, discovery, and download of the National Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges Database. All points are categorized and colored by common vernacular categories. Users can search by taxon, region, time, and depth. Data downloads can be initiated using the search parameters on the map and the on-screen geographic extent.

Contributing PartnersNOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) and its partners.

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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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This map service comprises seasonal distribution maps and model outputs of selected seabird, pinniped and cetacean species off the Pacific coast of Washington. The maps were developed by predicting relative density using associative models linking at-sea species observations with environmental covariates. Seabird, pinniped and cetacean observations were compiled from federal, state and NGO monitoring programs with data between 1995 and 2014. Environmental covariates were processed from long-term archival satellite, oceanographic, and hydrographic databases. Selected species include: Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata), Common Murre (Uria aalge), Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus), Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Summer season (April to October) predictions were developed for all species. In addition, winter season (November to March) predictions were developed for Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre and Black-footed Albatross. The collection includes multiple geospatial model outputs for each species and season combination.
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Data & Publications

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

General Pages

Biogeographic Assessments

Biogeographic assessments involve the compilation and integration of diverse types of data for the purpose of better understanding current and changing conditions in coastal and estuarine areas. Integration of these ...

Coastal and Marine Planning

Coastal and marine planning science analyzes and supports the allocation of the spatial and temporal distribution of human uses in coastal and marine areas to balance social-economic and ecological objectives ...

NCCOS Monitoring and Assessments

Coastal and inland communities rely on NCCOS for an understanding of threats to their environmental resources. Our products and services help communities ensure the security of their water supplies, the ...

Offshore Wind Energy

The need for offshore wind energy in U.S. waters has expanded in recent years and is critical in mitigating climate change and growing the New Blue Economy. In support of ...

NOAA Internship Opportunities

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