Home > Explore Data & Reports > Assessment of Ecological Condition and Potential Stressor Impacts in Offshore Areas of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Citation:

Balthis, W.L., C. Cooksey, M.H. Fulton, J.L. Hyland, L.A. May, E.F. Wirth, and C.M. Woodley. 2018. Assessment of Ecological Condition and Potential Stressor Impacts in Offshore Areas of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 254. Charleston, SC. 80 pp.

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum

Description

In June 2015, the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science conducted an assessment of the status of ecological condition of unconsolidated, soft-bottom habitat and overlying waters at 30 sites from 11 – 99 m depth in targeted shelf areas of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). All sampling was undertaken outside of Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs), Ecological Reserves, and Research-Only Areas and all coral reef and hardbottom, continuous seagrass beds and shallow areas (< 10 m) were avoided in order to minimize potential impacts of sediment grab sampling on protected areas and sensitive habitat, to accommodate sampling gear limitations, and to satisfy working requirements of the research vessel (limited to depths > 10 m). Sampling included measures of water quality, sediment quality, and benthic biological condition (taxonomic richness, diversity, and abundance of infauna; fish tissue contaminant levels).

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