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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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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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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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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 the Ecological Function of Shipwrecks, A...

Increased calls for enhancing ocean habitats through artificial reefs and proposals for increasing offshore energy development require science to understand the impact and habitat value of these artificial structures on ...
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News

How do Light-dependent Mesophotic Corals Survive a...

The ability of deep, light dependent mesophotic corals to grow in low-light conditions is a poorly understood realm of biology. Research, sponsored in part by NCCOS, found that the ability ...
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NCCOS, Partners Publish Ecological Assessment of W...

NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 257. Credit NOAA NCCOS. NCCOS and its partners completed a comprehensive ecological assessment of Wisconsin – Lake Michigan and the findings are published in a new ...
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Bethany Williams Shares Experience as 2018 NCCOS S...

Bethany Williams recently completed her 2018 Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship with NCCOS's Biogeography Branch, which develops marine spatial maps, models, and assessments needed by decision-makers to manage coastal ocean space ...
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Ecological Assessment of Maryland’s Tred Avo...

Map of Choptank River Watershed Habitat Focus Area. Credit: NOAA. NCCOS scientists have analyzed how land use has affected the aquatic ecosystem of the Tred Avon River, an important tributary ...
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New Report Characterizes Offshore, Soft-bottom Hab...

NCCOS scientists completed a study of the soft-bottom habitats in offshore areas of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). While FKNMS is known for its coral reefs and extensive ...
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NCCOS, Partners Publish Environmental Assessment o...

Map of Alaska, with inset map of Kenai Peninsula study area. Credit: NOAA. NCCOS and its partners have published an environmental assessment of the bays and fjords on the Kenai ...
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Scientists Assess Contaminants, Fish Populations i...

NCCOS scientists Ian Hartwell and Tony Pait retrieve PONAR sediment grab from Salt River Bay, St. Croix, USVI. Credit: NOAA. Earlier this month, NCCOS scientists and their partners completed fieldwork ...
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Coral Surveys Inform Expansion of Pulley Ridge Hab...

In June, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council voted to expand the Pulley Ridge Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC), located roughly 150 miles off Florida’s southwest coast. The expanded ...
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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 boundary expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) in the ...
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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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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

Our scientists and GIS specialists develop cutting-edge products that describe the distribution and ecology of living marine resources and their connections to human communities. Explore some of our work in the coastal and marine waters of the U.S. and its territories.
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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 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 Geoportal is an online data explorer providing discovery and access to the full catalogue of NCCOS-funded scientific data, including archived data accessions, metadata records, and web services. To discover data, enter a word or phrase in the text box and click on “Search” to conduct a free text search; refine your search using additional options for content type, date, region, and spatial extent. Click on “Browse” to explore the catalogue using topical keywords. Launch the “Map Viewer” to visualise geospatial data (GIS layers) served via mapping web services.
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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 ...
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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 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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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 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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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

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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NOAA Internship Opportunities

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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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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