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Projects

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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Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements in Two Coral R...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of reef fish among habitats in two underwater parks under different management strategies in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our objectives are to ...
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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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Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Database: Constructi...

We reviewed published information on the status of Atlantic coastal fish habitats and recorded it in a spatial bibliographic database for the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership. The results included ...
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News

NOAA’s 8th year Mapping the U.S. Caribbean S...

The NOAA Ship Nancy Foster was visited by some high-profile guests including Congresswoman Donna Christensen and several local senators during a seminar hosted by NCCOS. See April 8 mission log ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

NCCOS produced a georeferenced, digital atlas of benthic habitat maps for the shallow-water (< 30m) coral ecosystem habitats around these U.S. Pacific Territories. The maps support a variety of management applications, including informing resource management decisions, ensuring safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.
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Deep-sea corals provide important habitats for many marine species, including commercial fish. This data will be used to target areas for deep-sea coral surveys and to develop a predictive model to identify where deep-sea corals are likely to occur. The information will help coastal managers conserve these fragile ecosystems.
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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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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

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 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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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 hierarchical classification scheme. This GIS tool can be used to develop habitat map products for resource analysis and management.
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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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Data & Reports

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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An Investigation of Survey Technologies and Modeling Techniques for Improving Deepwater Surveys of Nonindigenous Species in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

This report examines survey technologies, with a focus on towed camera systems (TCSs), and modeling techniques which can increase nonindigenous species (NIS) detection and sampling efficiency in deepwater habitats of Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI); thus filling a critical data gap ...
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Fish movement patterns in Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument and adjacent waters

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)-Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment’s (CCMA) Biogeography Branch, National Park Service (NPS), US Geological Survey, and the University of Hawaii used acoustic telemetry to quantify spatial patterns and habitat affinities of reef ...
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Modeling at-sea occurrence and abundance of marine birds to support Atlantic marine renewable energy planning: Phase I report

This report describes the first phase of a project aimed at producing maps of the spatial distributions of marine bird species in U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) waters that can be used to inform marine spatial planning in the ...
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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
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Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
Email: nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov