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Living Shorelines Provide Better Fish Habitats

In many places, estuarine shorelines are protected from erosion by riprap–a jumble of rock and other hard materials piled along the shore. More recently, living shorelines¯ have become the focus of study as an alternative approach that preserves ecological function as well as providing shoreline protection. For example, riprap-sill structures are a type of living shoreline¯ combining a rock […]

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Invasive Reed Prefers Altered Shorelines

An NCCOS-funded study found that the invasive non-native variety of the common reed Phragmites australis in the Chesapeake Bay estuary thrives around altered and hardened shorelines and disturbed marshes and beaches with elevated nutrients. The research team also concluded that native Spartina marsh plant communities will struggle under this invasion without management action. The seven-year project […]

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Gulf of Mexico Phytoplankton Communities Altered after Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history with documented negative impacts to zooplankton, fish, birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. Now, new research partially funded by NCCOS has disclosed negative impacts […]

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Why Nutrient-Enriched Waters Favor Large Single-Cell Algae

Ecological studies show that bottom-up (e.g., nutrient input) and top-down (e.g., grazing/predation) pressures may change the structure of aquatic ecosystems with “cascading” effects throughout the food chain. Recent research supports that zooplankton grazing in high-nutrient waters promotes the growth of larger phytoplankton over smaller species, creating a higher abundance of these larger single celled algae within the food web. Using samples […]

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NOAA and Louisiana Collaborate on Mississippi River Diversion Management

The 5th Annual NOAA/Northern Gulf Institute Gulf Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop brought together Louisiana state officials, federal and other state agencies, NGOs, and academic scientists with interests in identifying a path forward to restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, reduce the size of the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, and sustain the ecological and socioeconomic benefits of […]

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NOAA “Science to Management” Project Trains Stakeholders in Coral Reef Forensics

NCCOS supported researchers led a May 2015 training event wherein local community members learned to use coral reef “forensics” on reef plants and animals. This activity identified and provided early warning of coral reef stress, death and decay causes. The event, hosted by the citizen conservation group Maui Nui Marine Resource Council on the Hawaiian […]

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Regional Water Management Practices Reduce Biscayne Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

In subtropical Biscayne Bay, Florida, NCCOS research reveals decades of water management practices reduce freshwater flow, negatively impacting abundance and composition of the bay’s nearshore submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) communities, fish, and crustaceans. Over the last 50 years, a massive water management system modified the hydrology of the South Florida watershed by altering the quantity, […]

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Marsh Hydrology Model Supports Hurricane Sandy Restoration

In support of restoration and resilience of marshes impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) chose an NCCOS-supported forecast model to predict marsh ecology and hydrology related to combined effects from storm surge and sea level rise. The model selected was developed as part of the NCCOS sponsored Ecological Effects of Sea […]

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