Projects Explorer

The NCCOS Project Explorer provides a snapshot of our official, discrete lines of research. Filter by research category, region or contact.

Stormwater Runoff in Coastal Watersheds: Predicting Impacts of Development and Climate Change

We developed a stormwater runoff modeling system to predict the impacts of development and climate change on stormwater runoff in small coastal watersheds. The model quantifies runoff using climate change projections and urban development scenarios and can be used for different regions by substituting local characteristics. Also, we are building ...
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Strengthening Early Warning and Forecasts of Domoic Acid Events in the Pacific Northwest: Using the Environmental Sample Processor to Close the Data Gap

In the Pacific Northwest (PNW), blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia that produce domoic acid (DA) are a significant human health threat and extremely costly to coastal communities. This project improves early warnings and forecasts of DA events in this region. Second generation Environmental Sample Processors will be modified to enable more frequent, ...
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Supporting Ecosystem Prediction and Environmental Management of Nutrients and Acidification in the California Current System

We are supporting research that will identify areas of the California Current that are susceptible to ocean acidification and low oxygen and how that susceptibility will change in future ocean conditions. Research findings will inform regional water quality and resource management. Why We Care The California Current System is one ...
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Survey and Impact Assessment of Derelict Fish Traps in the U.S. Virgin Islands

In the waters surrounding St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, we conducted an assessment of the causes and effects of lost fish traps. We evaluated fish mortality, trap fouling and degradation, and assessed the efficiency of autonomous underwater vehicles in detecting and verifying derelict traps in a coral ...
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Synthesis and Integrated Modeling of Long-Term Data Sets to Support Fisheries and Hypoxia Management in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

We are integrating existing data sets collected in the Northern Gulf of Mexico to study hypoxia impacts on coastal ecosystems and associated fisheries. We are using probabilistic, data-centric modeling to assess the spatiotemporal dynamics of hypoxia and to understand and forecast fisheries and ecosystem impacts. Our research focuses on data-driven ...
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Technical Support for Inception of Florida DEP Coral Reef Nutrient Monitoring Program

Eutrophication is the over-abundance of nutrients in a body of water that results in harmful algal blooms, fish kills, and in some cases ecosystem collapse. In coral reef ecosystems, excess nutrients can impact the coral, or allow other organisms to outcompete the coral. The north Florida reef tract does not ...
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The Coastal Recovery from Storms Tool (CReST): Modeling Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Natural and Managed Beaches and Dunes

We are developing a community modeling tool, based on field data, to inform impact and vulnerability assessments of dune and beach recovery following storms under a suite of sea level rise. The study represents collaboration between NOAA, Oregon State University, University of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Sentinel Site ...
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The Columbia River Plume and Harmful Algal Blooms in the Pacific Northwest: Bioreactor, Barrier, or Conduit?

We identified the oceanographic causes and transport routes for the harmful alga Pseudo-nitzschia in the offshore waters of the Pacific Northwest and improved predictability of the arrival of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on Washington and Oregon beaches from known HAB hot spots. The study area includes the Columbia River plume ...
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The Comprehensive U.S. Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project (C-CCREMP)

We worked with territorial and federal partners to develop an integrated system for monitoring coral reef ecosystem health in the U.S. Caribbean. We integrated existing data into a comprehensive report, identified monitoring gaps, and evaluated protocols. Meta-analyses across multiple long-term monitoring data sets helped us assess environmental change. Why We ...
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The Economic Value of Natural Infrastructure for Storm Damage Reduction in North Carolina’s Coastal Communities

This two-year project is determining the economic value of the reduction in storm impacts to coastal communities due to the presence of natural infrastructure in the region associated with the North Carolina’s Sentinel Site Cooperative and National Estuarine Research Reserve. The results will provide an understanding of the impacts of ...
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The Environmental Sample Processor – Making it More Affordable and Easier to Use

We are re-engineering the design of the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP), one of the first available in-water sensors to measure harmful algae, their toxins, and other parameters in near real-time and transmit data to shore. The ESP has been proven for multiple sensing applications and is recognized for its promise ...
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The Impact of Temperature and Salinity on Pesticide Toxicity

We tested the toxicity of pesticides to shrimp and phytoplankton to better understand the environmental risks of these chemicals. We found that pesticide toxicity can change with temperature and salinity. These results are being used to improve the ways that pesticides are applied in coastal areas. Why We Care Estuarine ...
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The Role of Nitric Oxide in Promoting Heterosigma Blooms

Heterosigma akashiwo has emerged as a threat to finfish and shellfish stocks resulting in significant impacts to the coastal economy. We are working to identify the mechanisms and nitrogen sources utilized by Heterosigma, which potentially provide this species with a competitive advantage. The research will enhance our understanding of key ...
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The Role of Temperature and Depth in Fish Community Distribution off North Carolina with Implications for Invasive Lionfish Distribution

We examined the relationship between water temperature, depth, and invasive lionfish and native fish communities, off the coast of North Carolina. By understanding how present conditions influence lionfish and native fish communities we can inform management decisions by using lionfish presence as an indicator of changing climatic conditions. This baseline ...
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The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States

Reports in The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States series represent NOAA’s ongoing effort to assess the condition of the nation’s shallow-water coral reef ecosystems based on quantitative results of assessment and monitoring activities. Reports are published periodically and contain the most ...
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Threatened Resources: Bank Systems of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

We undertook an ecological assessment of bank systems in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) to determine what will be lost if these systems continue to be degraded by high boat traffic. The species composition, high density and diversity of the fish assemblage indicate bank systems provide a key ...
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Tool to Forecast the Effect of Waves on Waterbodies and Shorelines

We created a tool to help coastal community managers, resource managers, and biologists estimate the wave impact potential to a given area. Wave forms included in the tool range from extreme wind-driven waves created by hurricanes to persistent low-amplitude waves from boat traffic. Exposure estimates are helping coastal managers prepare ...
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Toward a Predictive Understanding of Cochlodinium and Alexandrium Blooms in the Lower Chesapeake Bay

Large blooms of Cochlodinium polykrikoides have occurred throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in recent decades and appear to be followed by increasingly intense blooms of the ichthyotoxic Alexandrium monilatum. There is limited knowledge concerning the timing and nature of these blooms, which this project seeks to overcome ...
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Towards a Predictive Understanding of Our Ecosystems: Microcystis Blooms and Toxin Production

Cyanobacteria blooms and toxin production are an urgent contemporary problem in the US and worldwide. Water quality models are important tools for managing these problems, but currently the utility of available models is strictly for management and research. This research will lead to better predictions of cyanobacteria blooms and toxin ...
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Toxic Prymesium parvuum: Characterization of Toxins Affecting Aquaculture, Environmental and Human Health

We have successfully identified several toxins and chemical properties of the harmful alga Prymesium parvuum with the ultimate goal of developing detection and monitoring tools. Until very recently the toxins remained totally uncharacterized. Thus, detection and monitoring tools to track these toxins remain undeveloped. We are currently developing analytical chemical ...
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Toxicity and Potential Food-Web Impacts of Alexandrium monilatum and its Toxins

Once limited to the U.S. south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, Alexandrium monilatum has extended its range to the lower Chesapeake Bay, where it affects commercial fisheries and shellfisheries. The dynamics of toxins produced by this harmful alga remain poorly understood. We are characterizing the impacts of A. monilatum ...
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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

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