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Projects

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, ...

A Mechanism Based Intervention for Brevetoxin Indu...

The Florida manatee inhabits environments in which blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, frequently occur. K. brevis produces brevetoxins, that result in fish kills, contamination of shellfish, and respiratory ...

A Pilot Assessment of Fish Habitat in Choptank Riv...

Fish and shellfish populations depend on healthy habitats. To help understand and manage these habitats in the Chesapeake Bay, we will develop a GIS-based analytical framework that might be used ...

Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements to Support Hab...

We are monitoring the movement and residence time of fish in several coastal ecosystems. Our objectives are to document habitat preferences of fish, the timing and scales of their mobility, and ...

Advancing an Integrated HAB Detection and Monitori...

This project will improve monitoring and response to harmful blooms of cyanobacteria and marine algae and a suite of algal toxins they produce that have been documented across the freshwater ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

An Integrated Assessment of Oil and Gas Release in...

In 2004, the Taylor Energy Mississippi Canyon 20 (MC20) oil and gas drilling platform was toppled during Hurricane Ivan. Since the collapse of the drilling platform, the MC20 site has ...

News

New Research Describes Performance of Nature Based...

One of the more significant impediments to the widespread adoption of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for coastal protection is a lack of empirical evidence about how NBS perform. NBS involves ...

New Study Provides Insights into Marine Bird Distr...

To inform the sustainable development of offshore wind energy on the United States' Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), a recent study sheds light on the spatial and temporal distributions of ...

NOAA Engages Alaskan Communities in Aquaculture Op...

Chris Schillaci handles a piece of Nereocystis (Bull kelp), a key mariculture species for Alaska’s growing aquaculture industry. In February and March 2024, NCCOS and NOAA Fisheries conducted a series ...

Pedestrian and Vehicle Counters Installed to Asses...

To prioritize investments in protection and restoration, managers need to know how people value natural resources and if management actions affect those values. Social scientists at NCCOS are using human ...

Marine Benthic Algae of Puerto Rico Part II Publis...

Credit: Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, Number 117. Smithsonian Scholarly Press. Part II of the Marine Benthic Algal Flora of Puerto Rico has been published and is partly based on NCCOS-supported ...

Deepwater Horizon 2023 Gulf of Mexico Deep Sea Exp...

In 2010, more than 770 square miles of mesophotic and deep-sea habitats were injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the ...

Sea Sponges Reveal Larger Impact of Climate Change...

A researcher sampling a sclerosponge in St. Croix. Photo credit: Doug Kesling A newly published study used an unlikely source—sea sponges—to determine a more accurate baseline for pre-industrial global temperature ...

Sediment Management Guide Supports Coastal Resilie...

Doran Beach, California, helps protect wetlands and a key harbor from storm surge and rising sea levels, but the dunes are gradually eroding and need to adapt to future changes ...

NCCOS-Supported Research Transitioning to Operatio...

Dungeness crab is Oregon’s most valuable single-species fishery. Photo Credit: Oregon Sea Grant. U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) has awarded Oregon State University with an ocean technology transition grant ...

Big Data Provides Big Insights in York River Recre...

Cartop boat launch pier at Machicomoco State Park (Credit: Sarah Gonyo) Outdoor recreation is important for improving quality of life, well-being, and local economies, but quantifying its value without direct ...

Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

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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This Data Explorer Map contains ecological and socioeconomic datasets including management boundaries, human use activities, fish and oyster surveys, and benthic habitats in the NOAA Choptank Habitat Focus Area (HFA) Ecosystem Assessment. The tool allows managers, stakeholders and the general public to visualize data that assists with decision-making about management of the ecosystem in the Choptank watershed.
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NCCOS developed the Algal Bloom Monitoring System to routinely deliver near real-time products for use in locating, monitoring and quantifying algal blooms in coastal and lake regions of the US. This application delivers a suite of bloom detection products in the form of geographic based images. At this time products are available for selected regions. New products are being evaluated, and new regions are being considered; as they are proven useful, they will be made available through this system.

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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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Harmful algal blooms (HABs), sometimes known as "red tide", occur when certain kinds of algae grow very quickly, forming patches, or "blooms", in the water. These blooms can emit powerful toxins which endanger human and animal health. NCCOS conducts and funds research that helps communities protect the public and combat blooms in cost-effective ways, and we are breaking new ground in the science of stopping blooms before they occur.
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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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This Data Explorer Map contains datasets including marine environment, benthic habitats, fishes, sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds off the Main Hawaiian Islands. This work supports the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) review of lease requests for renewable energy projects in federal waters, to minimize potential impacts to the ecosystem. This assessment is part of a larger process by BOEM and State of Hawaii to evaluate renewable energy proposals offshore of MHI.
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An R package specifically designed to compute summary statistics from the site to the regional level using benthic coral reef data collected from the Atlantic regions of NOAA's National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) is available on GitHub. This tool is available for public use and also serves as a data repository.
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Access deep sea coral and sponge data: Digital Map allows for search, discovery, and download of the National Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges Database. All points are categorized and colored by common vernacular categories. Users can search by taxon, region, time, and depth. Data downloads can be initiated using the search parameters on the map and the on-screen geographic extent.

Contributing PartnersNOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) and its partners.

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NCCOS runs the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) to link volunteers who monitor for marine phytoplankton and HABs in cooperation with professional scientists. We build a more informed public while expanding the reach and resolution of HAB monitoring. Over 200 PMN volunteers sample 140+ sites in 17 states and the US Virgin Islands.
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Data & Publications

A Comparison of Animal Abundance and Distribution in Similar Habitats in Rookery Bay, Marco Island and Fakahatchee on the Southwest Coast of Florida 1971 - 1972

The three areas in Rookery Bay, near Marco Island and Fakahatchee Bay were sampled from July 1971 through July 1972, and 1,006,640 individual animals were collected, of which the majority (55%) came from the Marco area. The large disparity between ...

A comparison of seafloor habitats and associated benthic fauna in areas open and closed to bottom trawling along the central California continental shelf

A number of studies have shown that mobile, bottom-contact fishing gear (such as otter trawls) can alter seafloor habitats and associated biota. Considerably less is known about the recovery of these resources following such disturbances, though this information is critical ...

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 ...

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 ...

A decade and a half of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and domoic acid along the coast of southern California

Blooms of the marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia that produce the neurotoxin domoic acid have been documented with regularity along the coast of southern California since 2003, with the occurrence of the toxin in shellfish tissue predating information on domoic acid ...

A guide to monitoring reef fish in the National Park Service's South Florida/Caribbean Network

The goal of this guide is to provide the framework for park managers and researchers to create or enhance a reef fish monitoring program within areas monitored by the SFCN. The framework is expected to be applicable to other areas ...

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, ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

General Pages

Florida Intensification Forecast

HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM MONITORING SYSTEMThe Southwest Florida Intensification Forecast provides an early warning of red tide initiation or intensification for coastal managers and decision makers. Red tide, also known as ...

Florida Satellite Imagery

Harmful Algal Bloom ForecastsComposite 8-days of satellite imagery up to 05-20-2024 showing location of algae bloom which may include algae besides K. brevis. Overlaid cell count data provided by several ...

Gulf of Mexico

Harmful Algal Bloom ForecastsIn the Gulf of Mexico, some harmful algal blooms are caused by the microscopic algae species Karenia brevis, commonly called red tide. Karenia brevis blooms can cause ...

HAB Forecasts

Our HAB forecasts alert coastal managers to blooms before they cause serious damage. Short-term (once or twiceweekly) forecasts identify which blooms are potentially harmful, where they are, how big they ...

Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring System

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control and sometimes produce toxins harmful to people and animals. Only a small ...

Lake Erie

Harmful Algal Bloom ForecastsNOAA provides forecasts for seasonal blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in Lake Erie, typically from July to October when warmer water creates favorable bloom conditions. Western Lake ...

Mixing Forecast

Forecast of the potential for mixing over at least the next 96 hours, to determine whether the majority of the bloom is at the surface,subsurface, or mixed throughout the water ...

NGOMEX

The northern portion of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, a region containing almost half of the nation's coastal wetlands and supporting commercial fisheries generating $1 billion annually, has undergone profound ...

Satellite Imagery

Current Lake Erie Sentinel-3 a and b Composited Satellite Imagery from the Ocean and Land Color Imager (OLCI) as of 2024-05-21 showing bloom location and extent. Image credit: The images ...

Tampa Bay

Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring System: Southwest FloridaThis page shows algal blooms in Tampa Bay. Blooms of some different types of algae may be present. In lower Tampa Bay, Karenia brevis ...

NOAA Internship Opportunities

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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