Projects Explorer

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

Benthic Habitat Mapping off Southwest Puerto Rico

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, ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping off St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Reef National Monument

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 ...
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Bioeffects Assessment in Bristol Bay, Alaska: Characterization of Soft Bottom Benthic Habitats and Fish Contaminant Body Burdens and Histopathology Characterization

Bristol Bay hosts the largest salmon fishery in the world, as well as a number of other important fisheries. We are studying sediment conditions that influence biodiversity and the distribution of benthic organisms, as well as contaminant concentrations in resident organisms. The sediment and tissue samples are being analyzed for ...
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Bioeffects Program Reports: Gulf of Mexico and Puerto Rico

The Bioeffects program is a nationwide program of environmental assessment designed to describe the current status of environmental quality in our nation's estuarine and coastal areas. Field studies examine the distribution and concentration of over 150 chemical contaminants in sediments, measure sediment toxicity, and assess the condition of bottom-dwelling biological ...
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Bioeffects Program Reports: Kachemak Bay, Alaska

The Bioeffects program is a nationwide program of environmental assessment and related research designed to describe the current status of environmental quality in our nation's estuarine and coastal areas. Over thirty multidisciplinary project studies have been carried out since 1991 in close cooperation or in partnership with coastal states or ...
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Bioeffects Program Reports: Mid/North Atlantic Region

The Bioeffects program is a nationwide program of environmental assessment designed to describe the current status of environmental quality in our nation's estuarine and coastal areas. Field studies examine the distribution and concentration of over 150 chemical contaminants in sediments, measure sediment toxicity, and assess the condition of bottom-dwelling biological ...
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Bioeffects Program Reports: Pacific Coast and Hawaii

Bioeffects Assessment Program identifies and assesses biological effects associated with contaminant exposure. Over forty intensive regional studies have been conducted since 1986 using the Sediment Quality Triad approach to determine the areal extent of contaminated sediments. The data include: sediment chemistry, toxicity, and species diversity and quantity for the same ...
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Bioeffects Program Reports: South Atlantic Region

The Bioeffects program is a nationwide program of environmental assessment designed to describe the current status of environmental quality in our nation's estuarine and coastal areas. Field studies examine the distribution and concentration of over 150 chemical contaminants in sediments, measure sediment toxicity, and assess the condition of bottom-dwelling biological ...
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Biogeographic Assessment of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to Support Evaluation of Boundary Alternatives

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) off the coast of Southern California was designated in 1980. In 2005, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and CINMS were considering six alternatives for adjusting the sanctuary's boundaries. Identifying how the six options overlaid with the distribution of marine resources was a ...
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Biogeographic Assessment of the Samoan Archipelago

We examined the marine biogeography of the Samoan archipelago in the south central Pacific Ocean, with a focus on regional ocean climate, island connectivity via ocean currents, distributions of reef fish and coral communities, and the extent of existing marine protected areas (MPA). Managers, scientists, and conservation planners will use ...
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Biogeographic Assessment to Characterize the Florida Keys Coral Reef Tract Ecosystem

We are assessing the seafloor composition and the distribution of coral reef fish in the Florida Coral Reef Tract. By pairing the marine resources data with human-use information, we will provide coastal managers GIS-layered, site-specific databases, maps, and a map-based bibliography to help them make zoning and conservation decisions based ...
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Boundary Options for a Research Area within Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Georgia

Coastal Georgia’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary offered potential as the only site designated for scientific research on the continental shelf along the U.S. southeast coast. Along with a team of scientists, managers, and interest groups assembled to provide GRNMS leaders siting guidance, we used computer analysis to identify acceptable ...
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Can Management Actions on Land Influence Harmful Algal Toxins in the California Current?

The marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia. Credit: Dr: Rozalind Jester. This project will enhance an existing regional coastal model to understand the relative importance of land-based inputs on the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms and their impacts in the Southern California Current System. Model results can help coastal zone managers ...
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Can Meadows of Underwater Grasses Help Mitigate the Harmful Effects of Ocean Acidification on Eastern Oysters?

Ocean acidification (OA) in the natural environment co-occurs with other stressors, such as temperature and low oxygen, creating complex ecological interactions that are difficult to manage in restoration and aquaculture systems. We are exploring the physiological thresholds of the Eastern oyster to OA and testing if submerged aquatic vegetation, such ...
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Can Oyster Aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay Flourish Under Future Environmental and Economic Conditions?

We are supporting research that will explore how the Eastern oyster will grow and survive under future environmental conditions and determine if there are environmental or economic thresholds (“tipping points”) that might limit profitability for the oyster industry. Why We Care The shellfish aquaculture industry is growing globally and in ...
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Capacity Building for Design and Analysis of Fishery-independent Surveys of Reef fishes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

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. Local managers are concerned about whether these species are being fished sustainably. However, they have little information about these species ...
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Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project

We are monitoring the distribution, abundance, and size of reef fishes and macro-invertebrates and mapping habitats in the Caribbean. The work from this long-term project will help coastal managers understand what natural resources exist inside and outside the marine protected area boundaries and the condition of these resources so they ...
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Caribbean Hotspot of Biodiversity: Ecological Characterization of Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, U.S. Virgin Islands

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. Why We Care The National Park Service Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (SARI) in the U.S ...
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Causes and Consequences of Cell Death in the Toxic Dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense

Numerous studies have increased understanding of processes that lead to algal bloom initiation, growth, and transport but little is known about the causes of bloom decline and termination. Preliminary results suggest toxic Alexandrium may initiate programmed cell death in response to nutrient stress. A hypothesis is that an internal cell ...
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Causes and Consequences of Hypoxic Events in Low-inflow Estuaries in Southern California

We are investigating the processes that lead to hypoxia in Southern California’s lagoons, and identifying its ecological impacts. These small estuaries, which have tidal inlets that can close to the sea, play roles in coastal protection, nutrient removal, and habitat provisioning. Hypoxia is a primary stressor in these lagoons, leading ...
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Changes to Non-market Values Associated with Changes in Natural Resource Attributes for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

The coast of Washington is home to diverse marine and intertidal communities valued for their aesthetic and recreational benefits. Our work improved understanding about how the value of these ecosystem benefits may change if natural resources degrade or improve with new management approaches, helping resource managers better sustain and improve ...
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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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