NOAA Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic Region (GAR) manages living marine resources from Maine through Virginia. Within the Region, the mission of the Habitat Conservation Division (HCD) is to protect, restore, and promote stewardship of marine, estuarine and riverine habitat to support our nation”s fisheries for future generations. By conserving these habitats, HCD directly contributes to the protection and recovery of protected species, maintenance of sustainable fisheries, sustainable management of the nation”s coastal regions, and increased resiliency of coastal ecosystems and communities in a changing climate.
HCD’s work relies upon cooperative interactions with numerous state and federal agencies and private organizations. HCD promotes effective stewardship by providing technical advice and conservation recommendations for activities these agencies fund, authorize or undertake which have the potential to adversely affect living marine resources and their habitats. These activities include coastal development, shoreline manipulation, dredging and port expansion just to name a few. These activities result in adverse impacts to living marine resources and their habitats, many times resulting in the conversion of existing shallow water habitat into another type of aquatic habitat that may have lesser value (eg. conversion of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to mudflats or tidal wetlands).
This internship with focus on the development of a policy guidance document detailing the issues associated with the conversion of shallow water habitat to other habitat types in the Northeast U.S., provide an analysis of the pros and cons of various shallow water habitat conversion scenarios, and provide qualitative and/or quantitative criteria for providing advice and recommendations on when such habitat conversions are appropriate or not. The student will get an inside look at how science is used to inform management decisions aimed at conserving important living marine resources and their habitats.