Home > Explore Data & Reports > Characterization of the Benthos, Marine Debris and Bottom Fish at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary


Kendall, M.S., L.J. Bauer and C.F.G. Jeffrey. 2007. Characterization of the Benthos, Marine Debris and Bottom Fish at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 50. Silver Spring, MD. 82 pp.

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


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 Final Management Plan. The objectives of this characterization were to fulfill this need by characterizing the bottom fish, benthic features, marine debris, and the relationships among them for the different bottom types within the sanctuary: ledges, sparse live bottom, rippled sand, and flat sand. Particular attention was given to characterizing the different ledge types, their fish communities, and the marine debris associated with them given the importance of this bottom type to the sanctuary. Field surveys were conducted during August 2004, May 2005, and August 2005. A total of 179 surveys were completed over ledge bottom (n=92), sparse live bottom (51), flat sand (20), and rippled sand (16). There were three components to each field survey: fish counting, benthic assessment, and quantification of marine debris.

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