Projects Explorer

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

Analysis of the Distribution and Abundance of Groundfishes to Support the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

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 NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) of this area. We analyzed fish distribution and abundance information, to improve our understanding of ...
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Application of Clay Flocculation for Removal of Karenia brevis Cells and Toxins in Southwest Florida Coastal Waters

Despite routine application in Asia, clay flocculation technology to control harmful algal blooms has not been adopted in the U.S., largely because of the lack of data on U.S. ecosystems and species. We will assess the effectiveness, environmental acceptability, socioeconomic costs, and scalability of modified clay dispersal as a red ...
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Application of Quantitative Molecular Methods to Characterize Abundance and Distribution of Alexandrium Cysts for NOAA’s HAB Forecasting

This project supports development for two lab-based quantitative molecular methods for more rapid, accurate detection of Alexandrium catenella resting cysts in sediment from the Gulf of Maine, Puget Sound, and the waters around Kodiak Island and Kachemak Bay, AK. Winter abundance of benthic Alexandrium cysts is used to predict severity ...
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Applied Ecophysiology of Marine Aquaculture Species to Understand Environmental Interactions

Forecasting environmental interactions of marine aquaculture activities requires an in-depth understanding of the environment and the species farmed. We are investigating two promising candidates for marine aquaculture: red porgy and vermilion snapper. Like many fish within the Snapper–Grouper Complex of the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, these two ...
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Aquaculture and Eutrophication in Long Island Sound and Great Bay – Piscataqua Estuary

Eutrophication is the overabundance of nutrients in a body of water that results in harmful algal blooms, fish kills, and in some cases ecosystem collapse. We are investigating the feasibility of using shellfish to filter out excessive nutrients in the Piscataqua estuary. Using models, field data, and input from stakeholders, ...
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Aquaculture Mapping Atlas and FARM Model

We are integrating two tools commonly used to plan for and site aquaculture: the Farm Aquaculture Resource Management (FARM) Model and the Connecticut Aquaculture Mapping Atlas. This improved tool will help identify the places where aquaculture is compatible with other human uses and where adverse effects on wild species, habitat, ...
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Aquaculture Opportunity Areas for Federal Waters of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone

The increasing demand for American-grown seafood and improved technology to farm in the open ocean provides incentive for aquaculture expansion. A recent step toward domestic aquaculture development was the Presidential Executive Order Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth issued in May 2020, which designated NOAA as the lead agency ...
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AquaSpace – An Ecosystem Approach to Making Space for Sustainable Aquaculture

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 siting and subsequent expansion of aquaculture operations. We are developing tools to address spatial planning issues relating to aquaculture in ...
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Are Growth and Toxicity of the Dinoflagellate Alexandrium Controlled by Grazer-induced Defense?

Blooms of Alexandrium fundyense result in economic losses to fisheries, aquaculture, and pose public health risks. Typically, A. fundyense growth and toxicity are seen as dependent on light, temperature, and nutrients. New evidence shows that grazers (copepods, bivalves, sea squirts) induce toxin production and decrease growth rate. The tradeoff between ...
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Are Marine Protected Areas Working in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

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 differing levels of enforcement and compliance. Results will provide managers with a status report that can guide management actions and ...
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Assessing Biogeography, Conditions, and Marine Protected Area Efficacy in the Dry Tortugas

In 2001, state and federal agencies established the Tortugas Ecological Reserve to protect extensive unspoiled shallow-water coral reefs that support a wide variety of marine life off the Florida Keys. The objectives of our project were to assess: the seafloor habitat and reef fishes of the reserve, the effectiveness of ...
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Assessing Blue Carbon Storage at Sites Restored through Beneficial Use of Dredged Sediment

To mitigate the impacts of climate change, there is a global initiative to quantify and award carbon credits for restoration and conservation of blue carbon habitats. These habitats are known to rapidly store carbon in their sediments for hundreds to thousands of years. We are quantifying carbon stock before and ...
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Assessing Coral Bleaching in Four U.S. Caribbean Managed Areas

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 monitor the effects of bleaching on coral reef ecosystems in four managed areas of the Caribbean. Why We Care Coral ...
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Assessing Futiga Dump Site Impacts on Fagatele Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

We will determine the potential impacts of the Futiga dump site and landfill on the coral reef ecosystem resources of the Fagatele Bay unit of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Leachate from the landfill could be having adverse effects on marine organisms, and a rigorous quantification of this ...
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Assessing Land Based Sources of Pollution in Tinian, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

Coral reefs are diverse, productive, and economically valuable ecosystem, but are threatened by a variety of stressors in including land based sources of pollution, such as nutrients, pesticide, heavy metals and sedimentation. The island of Tinian (CNMI) has a unique land use history that includes military activities, tourism and low ...
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Assessing Multi-species Habitat Use and Connectivity of Marine Protected Areas in the Gulf of Maine

We are evaluating how highly migratory and protected species, including cetaceans, fishes, pinnipeds, seabirds, and turtles, are using a network of state and federal marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Gulf of Maine and southern New England regions, and how this overlaps with areas of human use. Understanding the benefits ...
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Assessing Nature Based Solutions to Mitigate Flood Impacts and Enhance Resilience

This research project will connect the National Water Model with coastal models to predict the performance of nature based solutions for reducing the flooding impacts of sea level rise and storm surge.  Why We Care In order to make informed decisions, communities need to know their flood risk, what can ...
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Assessing Ocean Acidification as a Driver for Enhanced Metals Uptake by Blue Mussels

Ocean acidification, resulting from changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, will impact how a variety of chemicals, including metals, behave in the environment. This could lead to increased uptake of metals in important species, such as blue mussels. Body burdens of pollutants in bivalves are important considerations for seafood safety ...
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Assessing Social Values Relative to Offshore Wind Energy Areas in North & South Carolina

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM’s) Office of Renewable Energy Programs oversees development of offshore renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). BOEM identified wind energy areas (WEAs) on the OCS of North Carolina, and was in the process of locating WEAs in South Carolina. To inform ...
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Assessing Societal Impacts of Harmful Macroalgae Blooms in the Caribbean

We will examine how Sargassum seaweed blooms and their mitigation in the Caribbean affect multiple dimensions of social resilience, including economic impacts, human well-being, local ecological knowledge, and individual attitudes, values, and behaviors. Why We Care In recent years, the number, distribution, and magnitude of macroalgal blooms have increased globally, ...
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Assessing the Ecological Function of Shipwrecks, Artificial Reefs and Rocky Reefs on the Southeastern U.S. Continental Shelf

Increased calls for enhancing ocean habitats through artificial reefs and proposals for increasing offshore energy development require science to understand the impact and habitat value of these artificial structures on marine ecosystems. Harnessing technologies, including fishery echosounders and remotely-operated vehicles, we collect and synthesize data on fish communities, benthic communities, ...
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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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