Projects Explorer

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

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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Assessing the Threat of Hypoxia to Coral Reefs

We are examining the impact of low-oxygen (hypoxia) stress on coral reef ecosystems. Coral reefs are in decline, and human-assisted restoration is actively trying to reverse this trend. Our project will help improve the ability of coral reef managers and coral restoration practitioners to identify and understand the effects of ...
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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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Eutrophication and Oyster Aquaculture in the Patuxent River

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 remove nutrients from the Patuxent River estuary. Using models, field data, and input from stakeholders, we ...
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Eutrophication and Oyster Aquaculture in the Potomac River Estuary

Eutrophication is the overabundance of nutrients in a body of water that results in harmful algal blooms, which can lead to depletion of dissolved oxygen and loss of fish and seagrass. Shellfish (e.g., oysters, clams, mussels) filter nutrients from the water, and thus have the potential to improve water quality ...
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Forecasting the Causes, Consequences, and Potential Solutions for Hypoxia in Lake Erie

In recent years, the central basin of Lake Erie has experienced low-oxygen conditions, despite measures taken by surrounding states and provinces to reduce nutrient inputs. We studied the factors that led to these low-oxygen conditions and forecasted future oxygen conditions and their impacts. Key factors addressed include phosphorus loading, zebra ...
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How Will Changing Temperature and Oxygen Conditions in the California Current System Influence Important Fish and Shellfish Species?

We are supporting the application of coastal ocean models to determine the vulnerability of important species to changing temperature and oxygen in the California Current. This will enable coastal managers to conduct vulnerability assessments for species and habitats, manage coastal pollution, and frame management decisions within realistic and informed projections ...
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Hypoxia in Green Bay, Wisconsin: Biogeochemical Dynamics, Watershed Inputs, and Climate Change

Hypoxia conditions have plagued the lower part of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay and the Fox River for decades. We know nutrients are contributing to the problem, and we are developing a series of linked models that predict how changes in nutrients, runoff, oxygen levels, and watershed land use, as well ...
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Hypoxia Response to Nutrient Management in Narragansett Bay

We are developing observational and modeling tools and analyses to help management agencies in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island assess the efficacy of nutrient management controls on hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) in the bay. Why We Care Narragansett Bay is a mid-size (370 km2/230 mi2) temperate (mid-latitude) estuary subject to low ...
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Impacts of Hypoxia on Fish and Fisheries in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

To protect fisheries and support ecosystem-based resource management in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we are developing modeling tools that will evaluate and simulate how large-scale changes in forcing factors (e.g., fishing pressure) affect the relative impact of hypoxia on living resources. The tools we are creating can also be ...
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Integrated Ecosystem Modeling of the Causes of Hypoxia

The largest low oxygen (hypoxic) zone affecting the United States is in the northern Gulf of Mexico, adjacent to the Mississippi River. This “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico affects nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries and threatens the region’s economy. Since 1990, we annually map the size of ...
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LEOFS-Hypoxia: Operational Lake Erie Hypoxia Forecasting for Public Water Systems Decision Support

Deep waters of Lake Erie’s central basin have areas of low dissolved oxygen. Weather conditions can determine if this low oxygen (hypoxic) water will be taken up by treatment plants, which require different methods for treating low and higher oxygen water. Incorrect treatment results in poor drinking water and damages ...
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Mechanisms Controlling Hypoxia – Glider Application to Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone Monitoring: Pilot Study and Transition to Operations

We evaluated the use of gliders to improve Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone monitoring. The efficacy of this technology was determined and we developed a comprehensive plan that integrates glider capabilities into a range of ongoing and planned Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone monitoring efforts. Why We Care The northern ...
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Modeling Factors that Contribute to Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms that disrupt and degrade coastal aquatic ecosystems are occurring with greater frequency. We developed a model that shows these events are not only the result of nutrient loading of near-shore waters, but also involve interactions among competing algal species, grazing on those species, and changes in nutrient ...
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Modeling Hypoxia and Ecological Responses to Climate and Nutrients

We are developing modeling tools that can be used to predict ecological responses to climate and nutrient input management in coastal systems. This project is part of NOAA’s Coastal Hypoxia Research Program (CHRP). Why We Care Nutrient pollution in estuaries has contributed to the degradation of bottom habitats by causing ...
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Modeling Impacts of Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

We are determining the effects of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) on reproduction of fish (Atlantic croaker) throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico to accurately model population outcomes and to assess the model’s capabilities as a resource management tool. Why We Care The long term effects of the increase in seasonal ...
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Modeling Ocean Acidification in the Coastal Zone

Adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to seawater raises the acidity of seawater, which can adversely affect marine life and fisheries. Coastal waters receive both atmospheric CO2 and CO2 from water pollution, and their combination can disproportionately accelerate acidification. This interaction is highly dependent on salinity and temperature. We created a model ...
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National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment: Update

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 used the Assessment of Estuarine Trophic Status (ASSETS) model to determine the causes and status of eutrophication and expected future conditions in 141 U.S ...
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Operational Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Monitoring

The Gulf of Mexico hypoxia monitoring cruise is an annual shelf-wide survey of the Gulf's hypoxic area (i.e., “dead zone”) and the survey is the metric used by the interagency Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force to assess progress toward achieving their goal of mitigating hypoxia. Except for 1989 ...
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Oyster Aquaculture Related Ecosystem Services in the Choptank River Habitat Focus Area (HFA)

Eutrophication—the overabundance of nutrients in a body of water—threatens the normal function and benefits provided by coastal ecosystems. Attempts to reverse eutrophication have focused on reducing land-based sources of nutrients. However, in-the-water removal of nutrients through filtration and growth of filter feeders such as shellfish (e.g., oysters) can also help ...
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Planning for Sustainable Shellfish Aquaculture in Complex Multiple Use Environments: Determining Social and Ecological Carrying Capacity for South Puget Sound (PECSA)

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 nutrients in the Puget Sound estuary. Using models, field data, and input from stakeholders, ...
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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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