Projects Explorer

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

Characterizing Submerged Lands around Navy Base Guam, CNMI

In 2012, the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas developed a resource plan for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The purpose of this plan is to mitigate impacts of the U.S. Navy’s mission on submerged lands under their control. NAVFAC requested that NCCOS develop an updated ...
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Chesapeake Bay Climate Sensitivity Assessment

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest estuaries in the world, economically valuable for its productive habitats, valuable fisheries, and recreational opportunities. However, it is clear that climate changes will influence this important coastal ecosystem. We are using the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System and historical data ...
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Chesapeake Bay Vibrio Pathogen Forecast

We forecast where and when pathogens are most likely to be found in the Chesapeake Bay, based on the salinity and temperature of the water. Public health officials use our forecasts to target public safety messages and monitoring. When pathogens are present, cooking shellfish and washing open wounds after contact ...
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Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Identifying Toxic Species

Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is the most common, non-bacterial, seafood illness. The condition is caused by toxins from the microalga Gambierdiscus, and can lead to diarrhea, paralysis, and, in worst cases, death. Currently, there is no easy method for measuring CFP toxins. We are evaluating screening methods for CFP cells, ...
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Ciguatoxin Impacts on Foraging Behavior in Hawaiian Monk Seals

Hawaiian monk seals, which are critically endangered, inhabit the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the Hawaiian Islands. For the first time we have identified the algal toxin ciguatoxin, the cause of ciguatera fish poisoning syndrome, in Hawaiian monk seals. We developed an experimental model using mice to determine the effect ...
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Climate Change Impacts on Intertidal Zone Populations

The intertidal zone, which lies between the high and low tide marks on the shores of the world’s oceans, is a sensitive indicator of the effects of climate variability and climate change on marine species. We examined the effects of long-term temperature changes on the population biology of dominant species ...
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Coastal Ecological Assessments and Indicator Development

We work in partnership with other federal agencies and coastal states to conduct assessments of ecological condition and potential stressor impacts throughout our Nation’s estuaries, coastal-ocean waters, and NOAA protected areas; carry out studies to determine environmental impacts of specific pollution events or natural disasters; and perform additional related research ...
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Coastal Ecosystem Susceptibility to Nutrient Pollution

We studied the estuaries of the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico to determine which coastal areas are most vulnerable to changes in nutrient input. We modeled the environmental and economic impacts of land-use changes to understand the water flow (hydrology) and nutrient runoff in these areas. These models ...
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Coastal Marine Mammal Stranding Assessments

We are studying stranded marine mammals to determine causes of death, anthropogenic sources of mortality, contaminant loads, diseases processes, and life history traits. We are sharing these assessments with resource managers, the public, and groups using potentially harmful chemical contaminants in the coastal zone. The health of coastal marine mammal ...
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Coastal Water Quality Monitoring and Tool Development

We are researching the factors that drive bacterial pollution in estuarine waters (e.g., climate variability, wastewater management, and agricultural practices), and their potential as indicators of estuarine condition. Our research will support management of coastal resources through better understanding of how human practices and climate changes affect coastal condition in ...
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Codevelopment of Modeling Tools to Manage Sediment for Sustainable and Resilient Coastal Lowland Habitat in Southern California

We will advance scientific, engineering, and policy perspectives on how sediment can be managed in coastal lowlands to reduce flood risk, bank instability, and erosion risk. We will evaluate sediment management practices for both average and extreme event conditions by investigating how varying tides, stream flow, and precipitation influence sediment, ...
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Comparative Analysis of Quantitative Detection Methods for Enumeration of HAB Species: Applications for Resource Management

We are providing a thorough comparison of two different genetic methods used to quickly count the number of harmful algae present in a water sample. Our results will improve harmful algae monitoring and research, both in the laboratory and in the field. Why We Care Multiple research initiatives have contributed ...
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Comparing Reef Fish Habitat Use Patterns In and Out of Hawaiian Marine Protected Areas

Coral reefs are key habitats for many near-shore Hawaiian fishes. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are created to provide islands of protection for species, habitats, and ecosystems with high species diversity and abundance. This study was done to document how Hawaiian reef fish species use different seafloor habitats and to determine ...
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Complex Interactions Between Harmful Phytoplankton and Grazers: Variation in Zebra Mussel Effects Across Nutrient Gradients

We identified how nutrients and exotic zebra mussels interact to promote harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the Great Lakes. Results show the relationship between nutrient loading, herbivore grazing, and HABs is very different in habitats invaded by zebra mussels. The presence of zebra mussels leads to an increase in the ...
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Connectivity of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary with the Southeastern US Ocean Ecosystem

We are summarizing the role of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, a live-bottom reef off the coast of Georgia, in the migration of fish, sharks, and other biota in US east coast waters. Using acoustic telemetry data, we are describing when fish pass through the Sanctuary, where they are from, ...
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Conservation Opportunity: Demobilized Bombing Range, Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico

The demobilized naval bombing range at the eastern end of the Island of Vieques had potential as a marine protected area (MPA) to conserve marine resources. To help with the MPA site selection process, we conducted an ecological assessment of the island’s lagoons and insular shelf to identify areas of ...
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Contaminant and Disease Assessment in Native Alaskan Fisheries Harvest

In rural Alaska, native communities rely heavily on subsistence fishing for food. To assess food safety, we tested salmon and shellfish harvested by tribe members for contaminants, parasites, and diseases. Our objective is to help the tribal communities of Nanwalek, Port Graham, and Seldovia determine if their subsistence fish and ...
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Contaminants in Marine Resources of Vieques

Land based sources of pollution have the potential to negatively impact a variety of coastal resources, including fisheries stocks. This study is investigating the public perception that pollution is negatively impacting fisheries on the south shore of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Why We Care The impacts of decades of active bombing ...
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Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) – Solutions Today for Reefs Tomorrow

The Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) is a network of scientists and managers supporting conservation, restoration, and management goals to protect and restore coral reef ecosystems. Created in 2002, the CDHC was developed in response to the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force’s National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, ...
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Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies: Integrating Science and Management in the Caribbean

In response to the continued decline of coral reef ecosystem health, we developed a research program to define and understand the causes and effects of reef degradation and provided managers information and tools to help reverse the degradation of U.S. Caribbean reef ecosystems. Our work integrated ecological and social processes ...
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Coral Watershed Monitoring Using Remote Sensing Assets

Watershed runoff can adversely affect the health of coral reefs. Our work will provide coral reef managers with a method to monitor land-based runoff and, in conjunction with other data, to assess runoff mitigation practices. Why We Care Coral reef managers are concerned about the impact of land-based runoff on ...
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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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