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Projects

Benthic Habitat Mapping for Buck Island Reef Natio...

Summary: We developed benthic habitat maps for the Buck Island Reef National Monument, north of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bathymetry (depth) data we collected was used ...

Benthic Habitat Mapping off St. John, U.S. Virgin ...

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 ...

Capacity Building for Design and Analysis of Fishe...

Over 50 species of reef fish are captured by commercial and recreational fishermen in the U.S. Caribbean. Many of these species use reef habitats that are deeper than 35 meters ...

Characterizing Benthic Habitats Around Saipan, CNM...

In 2019, NOAA launched the Pacific Mapping Cooperative: RICHARD (Rainier Integrates Charting Hydrography and Reef Demographics) Marianas Campaign to develop a plan to conduct much-needed mapping in the Marianas Archipelago ...

Characterizing Benthic Habitats in Haputo Ecologic...

In 2012, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas developed an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) for the Joint Region Marianas (JRM). The purpose of this plan is ...

Characterizing Submerged Lands around Navy Base Gu...

In 2012, the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas developed a resource plan for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The purpose of this plan is to ...

Developing A Benthic Habitat Map for the Insular S...

The purpose of this project is to develop a benthic habitat map for uncharacterized mesophotic coral reef ecosystems (30 to 100 m deep) on the South Eastern Puerto Rican (Insular) ...

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 ...

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 ...

Identifying Priority Areas for Implementation of E...

In 2014, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 15 Indo-Pacific reef-building coral species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under this legislation, NMFS must develop and implement ...

News

NCCOS Research Supports Olympic Coast National Mar...

Surfers walk Second Beach, Washington, at sunset. Credit: Matt McIntosh, NOAA The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) has released its latest condition report, which assesses the status and trends ...

Drone Mapping Team Receives Inaugural NCCOS Innova...

Tim Battista and Bryan Costa received the first NCCOS Innovation Incentive Award for their work using airborne drones to map shallow-water habitats. Mapping shallow, near-shore areas for NCCOS's resource management ...

NCCOS Tests Drones to Map Coastline and Nearshore ...

In December, NCCOS scientists and their partners used both airborne and water surface drones to map land elevations and water depths around Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel ...

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 ...

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 ...

Picking the Right Spot: Offshore Wind Energy

The recent NOAA Ocean Podcost, Picking the Right Spot: Offshore Wind Energy, features NOAAscience of how to use marine biogeography - the study of marine species, the geographic distribution of ...

Data Collected for Map of Deep Coral Reefs off St....

This past summer NCCOS scientists collected underwater photos and videos from mesophotic ocean depths (30 -100 meters) between Vieques Island and St. John in the U.S. Caribbean. The data will ...

NCCOS Completes Marine Biogeographic Assessment of...

Trade winds blowing at Kualoa Point, O'ahu. Credit: NOAA. The state of Hawai'i is working to develop local renewable energy sources to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, primarily by ...

New Benthic Habitat Mapping Technologies Evaluated

NCCOS scientists recently evaluated new, benthic habitat mapping technologies and methods during a five-day mission at Flat Cay in St. Thomas, USVI. Benthic habitats in the Caribbean - including, coral ...

Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

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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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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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

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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Data & Publications

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 ...

Benthic Habitat Maps for the Insular Shelf South of St. Thomas and St. John

The insular shelf south of St. Thomas and St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is an expansive geomorphologic feature with extensive mesophotic coral reefs occurring at 30 to 150 meter depths. These mesophotic reefs are part of a ...

Benthic habitat maps of Saipan Lagoon

Saipan Lagoon plays a crucial role in the economy, tourism, and culture of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Understanding the spatial distribution and extent of Lagoon habitats is needed for planning sustainable economic development, evaluating zoning scenarios, ...

Benthic habitat maps of Saipan Lagoon, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (NCEI Accession 0162517)

Highly detailed maps of benthic habitats within the lagoon along the western shore of Saipan were created by NOAA NCCOS. This data collection includes the information used to create these detailed maps, including: 1) a high resolution satellite image, 2) ...

Benthic habitats of Fish Bay, Coral Bay and the St. Thomas East End Reserve

This report describes the development and assessment of shallow (0-40 m) benthic habitat maps for Fish Bay, Coral Bay and the St. Thomas East End Reserve (STEER) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The objective of this effort, conducted by NOAA's ...

Caribbean Fishery Acoustic Assessment: Fish density data collection from NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, from 2008-03-26 to 2014-05-31 (NCEI Accession 0156395)

These data sets show acoustically detected fish densities throughout the Caribbean ocean. NOAA/NCCOS collected these data sets to help characterize broad-scale fish abundance, biomass, and understand temporal behavior. Acoustic data was collected aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster using 120-7C splitbeam ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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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