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Projects

Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements to Support Hab...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of fish in several coastal ecosystems. Our objectives are to document habitat preferences of fish, the timing and scales of their mobility, and ...
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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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Benthic Habitat Mapping in Puerto Rico and the U.S...

We conducted benthic habitat mapping of shallow-water coral reef areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to inventory the coral reefs and related bottom types. Before this project, ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of Majuro, Republic of the...

We developed a benthic habitat map of coral reef ecosystems around Majuro, an atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The maps were created from satellite images and depict ...
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Biogeographic Assessment of the Samoan Archipelago

We examined the marine biogeography of the Samoan archipelago in the south central Pacific Ocean, with a focus on regional ocean climate, island connectivity via ocean currents, distributions of reef ...
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Boundary Options for a Research Area within Gray’s...

Coastal Georgia’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary offered potential as the only site designated for scientific research on the continental shelf along the U.S. southeast coast. Along with a team ...
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Caribbean Hotspot of Biodiversity: Ecological Char...

We gathered a time series of aerial photographs, mapped coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, and summarized previous ecological studies into a descriptive report for use by scientists and resource managers ...
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Creating a Baseline of Seafloor Fish, Features, an...

We conducted a baseline characterization of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, a protected natural reef on the continental shelf off the Georgia coast. We examined reef fish, bottom features, and ...
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How do Ocean Currents Connect Coral Reefs among Is...

Coral ecosystems are sustained by young fish and corals born locally, and by those drifting from other reefs on ocean currents. Identifying and protecting sources of young corals and fish ...
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News

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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Reef Fish Movements Tracked in USVI Monument to As...

NCCOS and National Park Service (NPS) researchers are evaluating the boundaries of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in Coral Bay, St. John relative to the home range of ...
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First Ever Unified Florida Reef Tract Map Now Avai...

The Unified Florida Reef Tract Map (v 1.1) provides a much needed, consistent geospatial framework for management, monitoring, and characterization of the Florida reef tract from Martin County through the ...
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International MMA Managers Rely on NCCOS Study to ...

NCCOS's Biogeographic Assessment of the Samoan Archipelago served as the basis of some workshop activities at the "Two Samoas Reef Resilience Workshop for Marine Managed Area Practitioners" held recently in ...
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NCCOS Products Inform Routing Alternatives for Und...

A renewable energy transmission company is using NCCOS products to help assess routing alternatives for a proposed undersea energy transmission cable into Maalaea Bay, Maui. The requested products predict the ...
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NCCOS Marine Biologist Brings Sea Creatures and Sc...

On May 9thNCCOS's Dr. Matt Kendall engaged 16 kindergartners at Seneca Academy in Darnestown, MD by demonstrating his scuba gear and talking about what it was like working underwater. Dr ...
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Other Topics, Maryland

NCCOS Researcher Brings His Work to Smithsonian Mu...

Dr. Matt Kendall, a marine biologist with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, participated in the Smithsonian's "The Scientist Is In" program at the Natural History Museum on June ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

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 conducted benthic habitat mapping of shallow-water coral reef areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to inventory the coral reefs and related bottom types. Such an inventory is needed for successful coral reef ecosystem management. This represents the first U.S. coral reef area to be mapped under the purview of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.
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We gathered a time series of aerial photographs, mapped coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, and summarized previous ecological studies into a descriptive report for use by scientists and resource managers.
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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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Data & Publications

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 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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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 ecological characterization of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, U.S. Virgin Islands

The diverse ecosystem within [the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, U.S. Virgin Islands] includes a large mangrove forest, a submarine canyon, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal forests, and many other natural and developed landscape elements. ...
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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, ...
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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) ...
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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 ...
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Boundary options for a research area within Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) is exploring the concept of a research area (RA) within its boundaries. The idea of a research area was first suggested in public scoping meetings held prior to the review of the Gray's Reef ...
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Characterization of the Benthos, Marine Debris and Bottom Fish at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Baseline characterization of resources is an essential part of marine protected area (MPA) management and is critical to inform adaptive management. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) currently lacks adequate characterization of several key resources as identified in the 2006 ...
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Climate change and larval transport in the ocean: fractional effects from physical and physiological factors

Changes in larval import, export, and self‐seeding will affect the resilience of coral reef ecosystems. Climate change will alter the ocean currents that transport larvae and also increase sea surface temperatures (SST), hastening development, and shortening larval durations. Here, we ...
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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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