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Projects

Enhancing Habitat Mapping Accuracy and Efficiency ...

Habitat maps are critical for effective management of the marine environment. However, map making can be time intensive, making it challenging to produce maps frequently enough to track environmental changes ...
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Evaluation of Coral Reef Restoration Success at Mi...

Diver James Emm (FKNMS-FIU) collects photographs of Eastern Dry Rocks reef near Key West, Florida, as part of a joint FKNMS-NCCOS field mission. The area will be restored as part ...
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Extending Seafloor Mapping Products to Include Hab...

We are providing improved seafloor mapping data products for regions of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary deeper than 20 meters. Along with the mapping products, we will create an ...
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Habitat Digitizer Extension

The Habitat Digitizer Extension is a GIS tool that was developed to delineate features by visually interpreting georeferenced images and also to select attributes using a dialog containing a custom ...
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Habitat Mapping of Fish Bay, Coral Bay, and the St...

We developed benthic habitat maps 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 ...
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Improving Species Distribution and Seafloor Maps t...

Our work provided the state of Washington and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary with new information to prioritize seafloor mapping, and to better understand seabird, pinniped and cetacean distributions ...
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Investigating Mesophotic Coral Reefs in Hawaii

We investigated Hawaii’s mesophotic coral ecosystems to better understand them and their relationship to shallower reefs. We found reefs off Maui’s southwestern coast at depths of 30–130 meters (98–426 ft) ...
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Lakebed Mapping and Assessing Ecological Resources...

Bathymetric model of clay outcrops on the lakebed off Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. Model by NOAA Biogeography Branch. We worked with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and local partners ...
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Lakebed Mapping in Thunder Bay National Marine San...

NCCOS, in close collaboration with sanctuary partners, will map high-priority areas of lakebed within the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Why We Care NCCOS scientists and partners hold a side ...
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Land and Sea Characterization of St. Croix East En...

Established in 2003, St. Croix East End Marine Park was the first multi-use marine park in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The park’s ecosystem and the threats to that ecosystem are ...
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News

NCCOS Supports Research Expedition in Gray’s Reef ...

Scientists place coral on plates adjacent to carbon dioxide sensors to study ocean acidification in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 2018. Credit: NOAA. Earlier this month, NCCOS staff provided diving ...
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Coral Surveys Inform Expansion of Pulley Ridge Hab...

UPDATE: October 16, 2020 NOAA Fisheries announced the final rule implementing Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reef Resources in Gulf of Mexico U.S. waters, ...
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Exploring Puerto Rican Reef Habitats from NOAA Shi...

High-definition ROV photos of Swiftia exserta, seen here in the white polyp morphotype. Credit: NOAA A scientific mission on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster from June 25 to July 7, ...
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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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NOAA Evaluates Using Drones to Map Coastline and N...

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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Report Documents State of Deep-sea Coral and Spong...

Red tree coral with a school of juvenile Pacific cod. Credit: NOAA A new NOAA report, State of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems of the United States, explains advances in deep-sea coral ...
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NCCOS Completes Mapping, Plans Ground Truthing of ...

In October 2017, NCCOS scientists collected full coverage high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and split-beam fishery acoustics data in the New York Wind Energy Area, a proposed offshore wind power ...
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Hardwiring Hydrography: A Note from the Field

by Will Sautter - NCCOS Marine GIS Analyst (CSS Inc. Contractor) The R/V Pritchard, still docked, while the crew tries to get a 20 year old computer system to run ...
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Mapping Underwater Resources of Lake Michigan

NCCOS teamed up with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory to collect 322 underwater videos off the coast of Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. The ...
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Digital Atlas for the Northeast Marine Corridor of...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Office for Coastal Management (OCM) are pleased to announce two new decision-support products to assist managers in strategic planning for sustainable ...
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Products

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Data & Publications

Fluorescent proteins in dominant mesophotic reef-building corals

Reef-building corals inhabiting the mesophotic zone (30-150 m) not only survive but thrive in light-limiting environments. Similar to shallow corals, mesophotic corals also exhibit coral fluorescence. Because fluorescent proteins (FPs) absorb high-energy light and emit lower-energy light, FPs could play ...
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Fungi associated with mesophotic macroalgae from the 'Au'au Channel, west Maui are differentiated by host and overlap terrestrial communities

Mesophotic coral ecosystems are an almost entirely unexplored and undocumented environment that likely contains vast reservoirs of undescribed biodiversity. Twenty-four macroalgae samples, representing four genera, were collected from a Hawaiian mesophotic reef at water depths between 65 and 86 m ...
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Generalist dinoflagellate endosymbionts and host genotype diversity detected from mesophotic (67-100 m depths) coral Leptoseris

Mesophotic corals (light-dependent corals in the deepest half of the photic zone at depths of 30 - 150 m) provide a unique opportunity to study the limits of the interactions between corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. We ...
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Guidelines for Bathymetric Mapping and Orthoimage Generation using sUAS and SfM, An Approach for Conducting Nearshore Coastal Mapping

The absence of accurate, contemporary, or detailed bathymetric data in nearshore coastal waters impedes coastal research, conservation, disaster response, planning, and management efforts. The use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and low cost RGB (red, blue, green) cameras, coupled ...
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Identifying Suitable Locations for Mesophotic Hard Corals Offshore of Maui, Hawai’i

Mesophotic hard corals (MHC) are increasingly threatened by a growing number of anthropogenic stressors, including impacts from fishing, land-based sources of pollution, and ocean acidification. However, little is known about their geographic distributions (particularly around the Pacific islands) because it ...
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Managers, modelers, and measuring the impact of species distribution model uncertainty on marine zoning decisions

Marine managers routinely use spatial data to make decisions about their marine environment. Uncertainty associated with this spatial data can have profound impacts on these management decisions and their projected outcomes. Recent advances in modeling techniques, including species distribution models ...
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Mapping Ecological Priorities and Human Impacts to Support Land-Sea Management of Puerto Rico's Northeast Marine Corridor

This report describes a spatial characterization conducted to support the development of an integrated management plan for Puerto Rico's Northeast Marine Corridor. The Northeast Marine Corridor is a large, landsea reserve network, making it unique in the region for both ...
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Mapping Seafloor Relative Reflectance and Assessing Coral Reef Morphology with EAARL-B Topobathymetric Lidar Waveforms

Topobathymetric lidar is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for benthic habitat mapping, enabling safe, efficient data acquisition over coral reefs and other fragile ecosystems. In 2014, a novel topobathymetric lidar system, the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar-B (EAARL-B), was used ...
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Mapping southern Florida's shallow-water coral ecosystems: An implementation plan

This Southern Florida Shallow-water Coral Ecosystem Mapping Implementation Plan (MIP) presents a framework for the development of shallow-water ( -0-40 m; 0-22 fm) benthic habitat and bathymetric maps of critical areas in southern Florida. It also discusses the need to ...
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Mapping the shallow-water coral ecosystems of the Freely Associated States: an implementation plan

This Freely Associated States Shallow-water Coral Ecosystem Mapping Implementation Plan (FAS MIP) presents a framework for the development of shallow-water (~0-40 m; 0-22 fm) benthic habitat and possibly bathymetric maps of critical areas of the Freely Associated States (FAS). The ...
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