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 of Florida Coral Reef Ecosystems to Support Reef Conservation and Management

NOAA mapped the shallow-water (less than 25 meters deep) coral reef ecosystems of the Florida Keys to support research, conservation, and management activities of state and federal agencies, including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Why We Care The shallow-water coral reef ecosystem of ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of Main Hawaiian Islands

NCCOS developed benthic habitat maps for shallow (<30 m) areas around the Main Hawaiian Islands to help local managers and researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and develop place-based action strategies to address key issues and remedy specific threats to coral reefs. WHY WE CARE ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

We developed a benthic habitat map of coral reef ecosystems around Majuro, an atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The maps were created from satellite images and depict coral reefs, seagrass, sand, reef flats, and other ecosystem features in the shallow waters of the atoll. Benthic maps are ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of Palmyra Atoll

In the first such effort in this location, we mapped the waters surrounding Palmyra Atoll to help researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and evaluate natural and man-made changes over time (e.g., climate change, invasive species eradication, and lagoon causeway mitigation). Why We Care Like ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

NCCOS produced georeferenced, digital benthic habitat maps for the shallow-water (< 30m) coral ecosystem habitats around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, to provide baseline information for research, management, and conservation of critical resources found in the region. Why We Care Coral reef ecosystems are enormously valuable culturally, ecologically, and economically, but ...
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Benthic Habitat Mapping of the Republic of Palau

We developed benthic habitat maps for shallow (<30 meters) areas around the main islands of the Republic of Palau to help local managers and researchers develop reef fish management strategies, optimize biological monitoring sampling design, and develop place-based action strategies to address key issues and remedy specific threats to coral ...
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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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Biscayne Bay PhycoNet

Why We Care Biscayne Bay is a coastal embayment in southeast Florida that has experienced rapid human population growth over the last century, resulting in steady declines in water and habitat quality. A 2019 study from NOAA and partners detected an increasing trend in indicators of eutrophication in the bay ...
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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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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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