Projects Explorer

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

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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Characterization of an Algicidal Agent Produced by the Bacterium Shewanella

We examined a biological control agent isolated from a bacteria species that may provide a mechanism for halting the growth of certain types of toxic dinoflagellate harmful algal blooms. We characterized the activity of the algicidal agent and its impact on dinoflagellate physiology. We also evaluated the effect of the ...
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Characterization of Benthic Habitats and Contaminant Assessment in Arctic Lagoons and Estuaries

We conducted an environmental characterization of lagoons and estuaries in northwest Alaska prior to oil and gas development in the region. Our results will provide natural resource managers and residents in the area baseline information on the state of biological resources and contaminants in Arctic lagoons and estuaries in the ...
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Characterization of Land-Based Sources of Pollution and Effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

We assessed the condition of the St. Thomas East End Reserves, establishing a baseline from which we can evaluate the effectiveness of restoration activities. This is the first reserve-wide integrated ecological assessment that includes chemical contaminants in sediments, coral, fish, and conch; toxicity of sediments; nutrient levels; and sedimentation rates, ...
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Characterization of Toxin Synthesis Pathways in Toxic Dinoflagellates

During the past 25 years, the abundance, range, and variety of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their toxins have been increasing, impacting human and marine animal health through consumption of contaminated shellfish, finfish, and water or aerosol exposure. HAB dinoflagellate algae make some of the most potent toxins on Earth, ...
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Characterizing and Mapping Essential Fish Habitats Affected by Human Activities off Puerto Rico

The purpose of this project was to collect, integrate and map available information on the features of essential fish habitats in protected and non-protected marine areas around the islands of Puerto Rico. The information obtained will help: 1) describe and select habitats for monitoring impacts of fishing and non-fishing activities, ...
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Characterizing Fish and Invertebrates of the Shallow Coral Reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

We characterized the coral and fish communities on the sanctuary’s shallow reefs based on data collected in 2006 and 2007. We focused on two management goals: 1) to develop a sampling design for monitoring benthic fish communities on the coral reefs; and 2) to obtain a spatial and quantitative biogeographic ...
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Characterizing Recreational Shore-based Fishers and Fishing on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

The objective of our survey on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands was to test an approach for collecting shore-based recreational fishing data, such as who fishes from shore, for how long, and what they catch. We were interested in understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of shore-based fishing, as well ...
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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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