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NCCOS to Lead Deep-Sea Coral Research Initiative in Southeast U.S.

Published on: 09/20/2016
Research Area(s): Marine Spatial Ecology / Coral

A new NOAA report outlines research priorities for a 2016 -2019 Southeast Deep-Sea Coral Research Initiative led by NCCOS scientists and sponsored by NOAA’s Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP). Thepublicationdescribes the outcomes of a 2015 workshop held in St. Petersburg, Florida that was attended by deep-sea coral experts from various NOAA offices, fishery management councils, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, and academia.

Map showing geographic areas in which the DSCRTP Southeast Research Initiative will operate in 2016-2019. Areas where deep-sea ecosystems are currently protected are shown in orange. Credit: NOAA

Map showing geographic areas in which the DSCRTP Southeast Research Initiative will operate in 2016 -2019. Areas where deep-sea ecosystems are currently protected are shown in orange. Credit: NOAA.

Workshop outcomes include research priorities related to habitat characterization and mapping; and improving our understanding of climate change impacts, fishery impacts, taxonomy and population connectivity of deep-sea coral ecosystems. In 2016 -2019, the DSCRTP initiative will provide ~$2.5M to fund research in support of management of deep-sea coral ecosystems throughout the southeast region, including U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and South Atlantic.

A cross-disciplinary science team will implement research activities of this initiative. The team is led by NCCOS’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, and is comprised of scientists and managers from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Office of Science and Technology, Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, NCCOS’s Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, and NOAA Cooperative Institutes.

For more information, contact Daniel.Wagner@noaa.gov.

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