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Projects

Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements in Two Coral R...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of reef fish among habitats in two underwater parks under different management strategies in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our objectives are to ...
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An Ecological Characterization of the Marine Resou...

We studied the coastal waters of Vieques, Puerto Rico, looking at fish and bottom-dwelling animals, contaminants in sediments and corals, and nutrient levels in surface waters. We also mapped the ...
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AquaSpace – An Ecosystem Approach to Making Space ...

Aquaculture is a large and growing segment of seafood production because capture fisheries production continues to decline. A major challenge to the expansion of marine aquaculture in most nations is ...
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Are Marine Protected Areas Working in the U.S. Vir...

We used a decade of underwater monitoring data to evaluate the effectiveness of no-take and partial-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) located in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the context of ...
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Baseline Assessment of Contaminants and Ecological...

We studied the water contaminant levels in the bay and the coral reef ecosystems just outside to develop a baseline environmental assessment of water quality and living marine resources of ...
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Baseline Assessment of Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico in...

We completed a baseline assessment of the environmental conditions in Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico, to help coastal managers identify the most appropriate restoration projects, and their effectiveness, in support of ...
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Baseline Environmental Assessment off St. John, U....

Watershed restoration projects are being conducted on St. John, USVI, to improve the health of coral reef ecosystems, create jobs, improve island infrastructure, and obtain a better understanding of the ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping in Puerto Rico and the U.S...

We conducted benthic habitat mapping of shallow-water coral reef areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to inventory the coral reefs and related bottom types. Before this project, ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping off Southwest Puerto Rico

We mapped the shallow-water benthic habitats of two areas off southwest Puerto Rico. This effort improves on previous NOAA benthic habitat maps by using more recent imagery, a smaller minimum ...
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Capacity Building for Design and Analysis of Fishe...

Over 50 species of reef fish are captured by commercial and recreational fishermen in the U.S. Caribbean. Many of these species use reef habitats that are deeper than 35 meters ...
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News

NOAA Completes Successful Coral Reef Monitoring Se...

NOAA completed two sampling missions in the U. S. Virgin Islands (USVI) this summer. The first mission was conducted in St. Croix from June 12-June 23, and the second in ...
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Successful First Year of NOAA’s Deep-Sea Cor...

In 2016, NOAA's Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program started a new four-year initiative to study deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems across the southeastern U.S., a region including U.S. federal ...
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First Compendium on Deep-water Algae of Puerto Ric...

A new taxonomic publication describes the relatively unknown algal flora of mesophotic coral ecosystems in Puerto Rico. Theseecosystems are characterized by the presence of light-dependent corals and associated communities found ...
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Mesophotic Bicolor Damselfish Help Keep Shallower ...

NOAA-supported researchers studying the potential coral ecosystem connectivity of the deep (192–256 ft/60–80 m), mesophotic reefs of Pulley Ridge and the shallower reefs downstream in the Florida Keys found that ...
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Data Collected for Map of Deep Coral Reefs off St....

This past summer NCCOS scientists collected underwater photos and videos from mesophotic ocean depths (30 -100 meters) between Vieques Island and St. John in the U.S. Caribbean. The data will ...
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NCCOS in the Caribbean: Will Sautter Field Blog

Just Another Day of Field Work Our new office, The CrewZen II, captained by Kevin McCartney. Credit: NOAA Daybreak over the Caribbean Sea. It's at the peak of hurricane season ...
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New Benthic Habitat Mapping Technologies Evaluated

NCCOS scientists recently evaluated new, benthic habitat mapping technologies and methods during a five-day mission at Flat Cay in St. Thomas, USVI. Benthic habitats in the Caribbean - including, coral ...
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NCCOS Leads Key Topics at International Coral Reef...

This week, staff from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) led special sessions and gave individual presentations at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ...
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Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Predicted to Increase wit...

A new NOAA study,published in the journal Ecological Modeling,anticipates an increase in the incidence of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Southeast Atlantic coast ...
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NCCOS Trains Partners to Conduct Coral Reef Monito...

NCCOS staffrecently trained partners in field operations and fish and coral data collection for theNational Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP), a core component of NOAA's Coral ReefConservation Program. Approximately seventy ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

Benthic habitat maps were developed for shallow-water (< 40 meters) areas in and around Fish Bay, Coral Bay, and the St. Thomas East End Reserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These maps will help local managers and stakeholders develop place-based action strategies, providing road maps to address key threats to coral reefs in these areas. This effort marks the first time that high resolution depth imagery and digital maps describing over 85 percent of the seafloor are available to local managers.
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We conducted benthic habitat mapping of shallow-water coral reef areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to inventory the coral reefs and related bottom types. Such an inventory is needed for successful coral reef ecosystem management. This represents the first U.S. coral reef area to be mapped under the purview of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.
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We mapped the shallow-water benthic habitats of two areas off southwest Puerto Rico. This effort improves on previous NOAA benthic habitat maps by using more recent imagery, a smaller minimum mapping unit, and a refined classification scheme. The new maps will support ongoing conservation and management efforts in the region, including restoration of Guánica Bay.
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The Sampling Design Tool for ArcGIS randomly selects people, animals, objects, or places in a GIS environment to infer status or change. The tool was developed to create and implement a sampling design based on randomized sampling and test different sampling designs to see which is most precise and least costly.
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Data & Reports

Acoustic tracking of reef fishes to elucidate habitat utilization patterns and residence times inside and outside marine protected areas around the island of St. John, USVI

This technical memorandum describes a developing project under the direction of NOAA's Biogeography Branch in consultation with the National Park Service and US Geological Survey to understand and quantify spatial patterns and habitat affinities of reef fishes in the US ...
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An assessment of nutrients, sedimentation, and total suspended solids (TSS) in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

This is the fifth report from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LSBPs) and their effects, and to characterize the biological community with the St. Thomas East End Reserves (Steer) in St. Thomas, USVI. Here we summarize the ...
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An integrated environmental assessment of the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

The St. Thomas East End Reserves, or STEER, is a collection of Marine Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries (MRWS) located on the southeastern end of the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. With an area of approximately 9.6 km2 , ...
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Benthic habitat and fish community assessment, La Parguera and Guanica, Puerto Rico, 2011-2012 (NODC Accession 0104343)

These data were collected in order to 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); 2) To relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic composition ...
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Benthic habitat and fish community assessment, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2011-2012 (NODC Accession 0088018)

These data were collected 2011-2012 from select locations on St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John (U.S. VI) in order to 1) to spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, ...
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Benthic habitats of Fish Bay, Coral Bay and the St. Thomas East End Reserve

This report describes the development and assessment of shallow (0-40 m) benthic habitat maps for Fish Bay, Coral Bay and the St. Thomas East End Reserve (STEER) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The objective of this effort, conducted by NOAA's ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico 2009-06-08 to 2009-06-13 (NODC Accession 0125200)

The project originated from an ongoing collaboration between USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and NOAA on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was developed in 2003 by the USDA as a multi-agency effort to ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, Parguera, Puerto Rico 2000-08-21 to 2009-08-21 (NODC Accession 0125202)

This fish and benthic composition database is the result of a multifaceted effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, Parguera, Puerto Rico 2010-08-10 to 2012-09-21 (NODC Accession 0125201)

This fish and benthic composition database is the result of a multifaceted effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, St Croix and St John, US Virgin Islands 2001-02-06 to 2010-10-29 (NODC Accession 0125236)

This fish database is the result of a mutlifaceted effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); ...
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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
1305 East West Highway, Rm 8110
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
Email: nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov