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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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Analysis of Marine Ecological Information Gaps in ...

We compiled and analyzed biological and ecological data to identify information voids in support of the National Park Service’s (NPS) management of marine resources within its jurisdiction. The biological and ...
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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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Assessing Coral Bleaching in Four U.S. Caribbean M...

In 2005, high sea temperatures caused coral bleaching in the Caribbean. The goals of this this project were to characterize the spatial extent of coral bleaching and recovery and to ...
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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 for Buck Island Reef Natio...

Summary: We developed benthic habitat maps for the Buck Island Reef National Monument, north of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bathymetry (depth) data we collected was used ...
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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 of Coral Reefs in Florida,...

We are producing benthic seafloor habitat maps to help coastal managers assess, protect, and preserve the condition of coral reef ecosystems. Why We Care Coral reef ecosystems are enormously valuable ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping off St. John, U.S. Virgin ...

We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow areas (< 30 m) around St. John and moderate-depth areas (30–60 m) south of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These maps ...
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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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Socioeconomic Infographics for CNMI and USVI Coral...

In support of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP), NOAA social scientists and their partners collect a variety of socioeconomic data in seven U.S. coral jurisdictions to track information ...
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NCCOS Maps Habitats of the U.S. Virgin Islands Ins...

NCCOS scientists conducted an accuracy assessment in the U.S. Virgin Islands from January 30 to February 13, 2017 to evaluate the thematic accuracy of a draft benthic habitat map of ...
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A Primer to Living Shorelines Published

A synthesis of recent thinking and results from practitioners and researchers of Living Shorelines just hit the stands. " Living Shorelines: The Science and Management of Nature-Based Coastal Protection," details ...
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Depth Affects Algal Symbiont Composition in Caribb...

NCCOS-funded researchers investigating the diversity of symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium spp.) associated with the coral Agaricia lamarcki in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands found the coral's algal associations change ...
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Experts Shape the Future of Caribbean Coral Restor...

Adapted text from Tali Vardi Coral restoration scientists, practitioners, and resource managers gathered at the Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Caribbean Coral Restoration in Fort Lauderdale, FL ...
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New Infographic Describes Socioeconomics of Guam C...

Scientists from NCCOS and NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program have released a new infographic that describes key findings from social surveys conducted in Guam. The infographic highlights the perceptions, values, ...
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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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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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NOAA Student Scholars Present Summer Research With...

Tenstudent undergraduate scholars, most with the NOAA Educational Partnership Program and Hollings Scholarship Program, are interning this summer with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in Silver Spring, ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

Benthic habitat maps for the Buck Island Reef National Monument, north of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands was developed. The bathymetry (depth) data we collected was used to update nautical charts in the area, and the related habitat maps we developed are being used by local managers to plan research projects and site-related infrastructure inside the monument, such as placing receivers for the acoustic tracking of fish and sea turtles.
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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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Since 2004, we have been conducting seafloor mapping of the U.S. Caribbean, to fill critical informational gaps to support improved management measures in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, targeting high priority sites identified by Jurisdictional managers. This project uses NOAA ship and aircraft to collect and provide detailed information from which we can produce maps of benthic habitats.
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We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow areas (< 30 m) around St. John and moderate-depth areas (30–60 m) south of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These maps are helping local managers develop place-based strategies to address and remedy specific threats to coral reefs inside Virgin Islands National Park and the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. Project PageView Product

The online Benthic Habitat Viewer (BHV) database, developed and managed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), provides easy access to a large database of underwater imagery characterizing coral reef organisms and habitats. The database holds over 9000 underwater seafloor images, taken during mapping missions from 2004-2006 in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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BIOMappers let you interactively view data, aerial imagery, dive photography, underwater video and related publications developed for the benthic habitat mapping of many U.S. coral reefs. In addition to viewing benthic habitat data, you can examine the attributes of the data and show different thematic representations. Photos and videos taken during dive missions are linked to the location of the dives.
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BIOMappers let you interactively view data, aerial imagery, dive photography, underwater video and related publications developed for the benthic habitat mapping of many U.S. coral reefs. In addition to viewing benthic habitat data, you can examine the attributes of the data and show different thematic representations. Photos and videos taken during dive missions are linked to the location of the dives.
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We gathered a time series of aerial photographs, mapped coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, and summarized previous ecological studies into a descriptive report for use by scientists and resource managers.
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BIOMappers let you interactively view data, aerial imagery, dive photography, underwater video and related publications developed for the benthic habitat mapping of many U.S. coral reefs. In addition to viewing benthic habitat data, you can examine the attributes of the data and show different thematic representations. Photos and videos taken during dive missions are linked to the location of the dives.
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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 chemical contaminants detected in passive water samplers deployed in the St. Thomas east end reserves (STEER)

This report is the second in a series from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, USVI, and is the result of a collaborative effort ...
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An assessment of chemical contaminants, toxicity and benthic infauna in sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

This report contains a chemical and biological characterization of sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The STEER Management Plan (published in 2011) identified chemical contaminants and habitat loss as high ...
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An assessment of contaminant body burdens in the coral (Porites astreoides) and Queen conch (Strombus gigas) from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

As part of the joint effort between the US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the NOAA Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS), to conduct a Reserves-wide impact assessment of land-based sources of pollution and effects ...
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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, 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, 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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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, St Croix, US Virgin Islands 2010-10-18 to 2011-11-10 (NODC Accession 0125270)

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); 2) To relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic ...
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NOAA Internship Opportunities

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Intern (USV...

The National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) is a framework for conducting sustained observations of biological, climate, and socioeconomic indicators at 10 priority coral reefs across the U.S. and its ...
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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.

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