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Projects

A Geospatial Assessment of U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ...

Offshore sand resources, e.g., sand shoals, are increasingly being used for beach renourishment, barrier island restoration, and other uses to enhance resiliency of shorelines. However, the impact of sand dredging ...
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A Marine Biogeographic Assessment of the Northwest...

We conducted a biogeographic assessment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the second largest marine protected area in the world. The effort was the most comprehensive view of the area’s oceanography, ...
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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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Aggression is a Symptom of Domoic Acid Poisoning i...

To gain a better understanding of symptoms experienced by California sea lions caused by the toxin domoic acid, we are studying the relationship between aggression and seizure behavior in laboratory ...
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An Ecological Assessment to Support NOAA’s Choptan...

The Choptank watershed is an ecologically and economically valuable resource and designated Habitat Focus Area. We are collecting and synthesizing biological, chemical, and physical data to characterize the condition of ...
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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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An Economic Analysis of Shipping Costs Related to ...

Through an analysis of shipping costs, we provided scientific guidance to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and other agencies, regarding the economic effects of potential management measures that ...
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Analysis of the Distribution and Abundance of Grou...

We developed maps of occurrence and relative abundance for selected groundfish off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, within the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). Our project supports ...
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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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News

First Observations of Seeps, Shipwrecks, Species R...

This spring, scientists completed a 23-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, collecting data on poorly understood deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The researchers used remotely operated vehicles ...
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NCCOS Supports Flower Garden Banks National Marine...

NCCOS scientists developed a biogeographic assessment and a geospatial decision support tool to help inform the proposed expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary’s (FGBNMS) boundaries. The team ...
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Lionfish Prefer to Eat Local

In recent years, Indo-Pacific lionfish have been found in coral reefs throughout the southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Credit: NOAA Invasive lionfish are generalist, opportunistic predators, meaning they ...
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West Florida Shelf and Dry Tortugas Impact Gulf of...

The Loop Current takes various tracks, sometimes moving fairly directly from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Florida Straits and sometimes forming a large loop that extends into the northern Gulf ...
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Stakeholder Focus Groups Improve Communication of ...

Coastlines are composed of marshes, barrier islands, estuaries, and other environments that are ecologically, socially, and economically important. Coastal flooding is increasing in regularity and magnitude with increasing sea level ...
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NOAA Begins Mission to Explore Deep-sea Habitats i...

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Credit: NOAA Yesterday, scientists began a 23-day mission aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect baseline information on poorly understood deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The ...
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Gulf of Mexico Water Quality Workshop Identifies U...

Participants gather in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a workshop to address water quality data needs in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: NOAA NCCOS staff led a workshop in Alabama this month ...
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NCCOS and NGI Lead Seventh Annual Hypoxia Research...

NCCOS is working with the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) and Gulf of Mexico State partners to develop a robust and sustainable Gulf of Mexico-wide monitoring program for hypoxia. At the ...
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Model Shows Ocean Acidification Could Outweigh Fis...

A new study, supported by NCCOS and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, examined a variety of marine ecosystems from the tropics to the arctic under different environmental conditions and management practices ...
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Shoreline Hardening and Development Hurts Shorebir...

A new NCCOS-sponsored study shows that using artificial structures to protect coastal land and property from the sea can harm water birds. The research, conducted in Chesapeake Bay and published ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

North Carolina has some of the best conditions to support offshore wind energy in the Southeast U.S. Three wind energy areas (WEA) identified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are being evaluated for potential commercial wind energy development: Wilmington-West and Wilmington-East near Cape Fear, and Kitty Hawk near the North Carolina-Virginia border.
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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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NOAA mapped the shallow-water (less than 25 meters deep) coral reef ecosystems of the Florida Keys to support research, conservation, and management activities of state and federal agencies, including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.
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In the Data Collection you will find data, maps, imagery and selected publications from the 2003 and 2007 phases of the Main Hawaiian Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping project.
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A benthic habitat map of coral reef ecosystems around Majuro, an atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands was developed. The maps were created from satellite images and depict coral reefs, seagrass, sand, reef flats, and other ecosystem features in the shallow waters of the atoll. Benthic maps are foundational tools for monitoring, conservation, development planning, stock assessments and other management actions.
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We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow (<30 meters) areas around the main islands of the Republic of Palau to help local managers and researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and develop place-based action strategies to address key issues and remedy specific threats to coral reefs. Project PageView Product

The first effort in this location, we mapped the waters surrounding Palmyra Atoll to help researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and evaluate natural and man-made changes over time (e.g., climate change, invasive species eradication, and lagoon causeway mitigation).
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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 developed benthic habitat maps for shallow (<30 meters) areas around the main islands of the Republic of Palau to help local managers and researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and develop place-based action strategies to address key issues and remedy specific threats to coral reefs. Project PageView Product

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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Data & Publications

2000 years of sustainable use of watersheds and coral reefs in Pacific Islands: A review for Palau

In Palau and everywhere in the world, coastal coral reefs are threatened by sedimentation resulting from land clearing in the watersheds. Palau's largest island of Babeldaob is particularly susceptible to significant erosion due to its steep topography, high rainfall, and ...
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A Biogeographic Assessment off North/Central California: In Support of the National Marine Sanctuaries of Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay. Phase II Environmental Setting and Update to Marine Birds and Mammals

This document is Phase II of a biogeographic assessment completed in 2004, described below. In the spring of 2001, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) launched a project to assess biogeographic patterns ...
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A coastal community vulnerability assessment for the Choptank Habitat Focus Area

This report presents a framework and provides findings from a community vulnerability assessment analysis conducted in the Choptank Habitat Focus Area (HFA) within the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the strong connectivity between Chesapeake Bay communities and their environment, the risks ...
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A comprehensive investigation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago

Although the existence of coral-reef habitats at depths to 165 m in tropical regions has been known for decades, the richness, diversity, and ecological importance of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) has only recently become widely acknowledged. During an interdisciplinary effort ...
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A coupled physical-biological model of the Northern Gulf of Mexico shelf: model description, validation and analysis of phytoplankton variability

The Texas-Louisiana shelf in the Northern Gulf of Mexico receives large inputs of nutrients and freshwater from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River system. The nutrients stimulate high rates of primary production in the river plume, which contributes to the development of a ...
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A guinea pig’s tale: learning to review end-to-end marine ecosystem models for management applications

A shift towards ecosystem-based management in recent decades has led to new analytical tools such as end-to-end marine ecosystem models. End-to-end models are complex and typically simulate full ecosystems from oceanography to foodwebs and fisheries, operate on a spatial framework, ...
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A high-resolution pre-operational forecast model of circulation on the Texas-Louisiana continental shelf and slope

A new pre-operational model of circulation over the Texas-Louisiana continental shelf and slope, based on the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) is presented. The model is designed with a number of practical applications in mind: to predict oil spill trajectories, ...
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A Manual of Previously Recorded Non-indigenous Invasive and Native Transplanted Animal Species of the Laurentian Great Lakes and Coastal United States

This manual presents geographic information by state of occurrence, and descriptions of the socio-economic impact created by the invasion of nonindigenous and native transplanted animal species in the Laurentian Great Lakes and the coastal waters of the United States. It ...
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A modeling study of physical controls on hypoxia generation in the northern Gulf of Mexico

The Louisiana shelf (LA shelf) in the northern Gulf of Mexico experiences hypoxic conditions every summer due to the combination of eutrophication and strong water column stratification. Here we use a three-dimensional circulation model coupled with a simple oxygen model ...
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A pilot study to determine the movements of buoy line used in the crab pot fishery to assess bottlenose dolphin entanglement

A pilot study on the characteristics of crab pot buoy line movements to assess bottlenose dolphin entanglement was conducted from 19 September to 30 September 2005 in the Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina. The objectives of this study were to ...
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General Pages

CHRP

Coastal Hypoxia Research Program (CHRP) Over half of U.S. estuaries experience natural or human-induced hypoxic conditions at some time each year and the frequency and duration of hypoxic events have ...
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Dead Zone

NCCOS-Supported Research Provides Foundation for Management of the 'Dead Zone' in the Northern Gulf of MexicoSince its inception in 1990, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has provided the ...
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HAB Forecasts

HAB ForecastsOur HAB forecasts alert coastal managers to blooms before they cause serious damage. Short-term (once or twice weekly) forecasts identify which blooms are potentially harmful, where they are, how ...
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Hypoxia Program

Hypoxia Research ProgramWe research the relationship between nutrient pollution and ecosystem effects. The nutrient pollution from the Mississippi River fuels the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone. Image by NOAA's Environmental ...
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NGOMEX

Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems & Hypoxia Assessment (NGOMEX)Program HighlightsThe northern portion of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, which contains almost half of the nation's coastal wetlands and supports commercial and ...
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NOAA Internship Opportunities

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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

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