Recent Submissions

  • Leaking tank experiments with Orimulsion^TM and canola oil

    Simecek-Beatty, Debra; Lehr, William J.; Lankford, Jeffrey F. (NOAA Ocean Service, Hazardous Materials Response DivisionSeattle, WA, 2001-12)
    This report is part of the process of adding to the NOAA oil weathering software, ADIOS2, to be able to include estimates of the leakage of heavy oils, which might not form oil slicks.
  • U.S. Cruise Report for BIE II Cruise 1, July 30 - September 9, 1993, R/V Yuzhmorgeologiya

    Trueblood, Dwight D. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean ServiceWashington, DC, 1993-10)
  • U.S. Cruise Report for BIE II, April 10 - May 29, 1992, R/V Yuzhmorgeologiya

    Trueblood, Dwight D. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean ServiceWashington, DC, 1992)
  • Sea otter predation and the distribution of bivalve prey in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

    Anderson, Brian S.; Kvitek, Rikk G. (NOAA National Ocean ServiceWashington, DC, 1987-05-15)
    The California sea otter population is gradually expanding in size and geographic range and is consequently invading new feeding grounds, including bays and estuaries that are home to extensive populations of bivalve prey. One such area is the Elkhorn Slough, where otters have apparently established a spring and summer communal feeding and resting area. In anticipation of future otter foraging in the slough, an extensive baseline database on bivalve densities, size distributions, biomasses, and burrow depths has been established for three potential bivalve prey species, Saxidomus nuttalli, Tresus nutallii, and Zirphaea pilsbryi.In 1986, the Elkhorn Slough otters were foraging predominately at two areas immediately east and west of the Highway 1 bridge (Skipper's and the PG&E Outfall). Extensive subtidal populations of Saxidomus nuttalli and Tresus nuttallii occur in these areas. Shell records collected at these study areas indicated that sea otters were foraging selectively on Saxidomus over Tresus. The reason for this apparent preference was not clear. At the Skipper's study site, 51% of the shell record was composed of Saxidomus, yet this species accounted for only 16% of the in situ biomass, and only 39% of the available clams. Tresus represented 49% of the shell record at Skipper's, yet this species accounted for 84% of the in situ biomass and 61% of the available clams. There was no difference in mean burrow depth between the two species at this site so availability does not explain the disparity in consumption. At the PG&E Outfall, Saxidomus represents 66% of the in situ biomass and 81% of the available clams, while Tresus accounts for 34% of the in situ biomass and 19% of the available clams. Saxidomus accounts for 96% of the shell record at this site vs. 4% for Tresus, again indicating that the otters were preying on Saxidomus out of proportion to their density or biomass.High densities and biomasses of a third species, Zirphaea pilsbryi, occur in areas where sea otters were observed to be foraging, yet no cast-off Zirphaea shells were found. Although it is possible this species was not represented in the shell record because the otters were simply chewing up the shells, it is more likely this species is avoided by sea otters.There were relatively few sea otters in the Elkhorn Slough in 1986 compared to the previous two years. This, coupled with high bivalve densities, precluded any quantitative comparison of bivalve densities before and after the 1986 sea otter occupation. Qualitative observations made during the course of this study, and quantitative observations from previous studies indicate that, after 3 years, sea otters are not yet significantly affecting bivalve densities in the Elkhorn Slough.
  • The effects of docks on seagrasses, with particular emphasis on the threatened seagrass, Halophila johnsonii

    Landry, J. Brooke; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Di Carlo, Giuseppe (NOAA/Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat ResearchBeaufort, NC, 2008-07)
    In March of 2005, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Special Projects Office released "Population Trends along the Coastal United States: 1980-2008." This report includes population changes and trends between 1980 and 2003 and projected changes in coastal populations by 2008. Given the findings, pressure on coastal resources around the country will continue to rise, particularly in Florida. ... One of our most valuable coastal resources is seagrass, but human desire and need to live on the coast means that our habitat overlaps with suitable seagrass habitat. Seagrasses can be found in coastal areas around the world but are limited to relatively shallow, relatively clear water because of their reliance on light for photosynthesis. Seagrasses provide food for both small and large marine organisms, larval and adult stage. They provide shelter and habitat to a variety of commercially important fish and invertebrates. They baffle the water column and inhibit the resuspension of sediments. They prevent erosion and fix and recycle nutrients. The physical and ecological benefits of seagrasses make them very important to human welfare, but their light-limited coastal distribution makes them highly susceptible to anthropogenic influences.
  • Lobster trap debris in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: distribution, abundance, density, and patterns of accumulation

    Uhrin, Amy V.; Matthews, Thomas R.; Lewis, Cynthia (2014)
    The fishery for spiny lobster Panulirus argus in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is well chronicled, but little information is available on the prevalence of lost or abandoned lobster traps. In 2007, towed-diver surveys were used to identify and count pieces of trap debris and any other marine debris encountered. Trap debris density (debris incidences/ha) in historic trap-use zones and in representative benthic habitats was estimated. Trap debris was not proportionally distributed with fishing effort. Coral habitats had the greatest density of trap debris despite trap fishers’ reported avoidance of coral reefs while fishing. The accumulation of trap debris on coral emphasizes the role of wind in redistributing traps and trap debris in the sanctuary. We estimated that 85,548 ± 23,387 (mean ± SD) ghost traps and 1,056,127 ± 124,919 nonfishing traps or remnants of traps were present in the study area. Given the large numbers of traps in the fishery and the lack of effective measures for managing and controlling the loss of gear, the generation of trap debris will likely continue in proportion to the number of traps deployed in the fishery. Focused removal of submerged trap debris from especially vulnerable habitats such as reefs and hardbottom, where trap debris density is high, would mitigate key habitat issues but would not address ghost fishing or the cost of lost gear.
  • Mission report: a strategy to inventory, characterize, and monitor the marine region within and around the National Park and Monument boundaries of St. John, USVI, July 21- July 31, 2008

    NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NOAA/National Centers for Coastal Ocean ScienceSilver Spring, MD, 2008-10)
    The intent of this field mission was to continue ongoing efforts: (1) to spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance and size of both reef fishes and conch within and around the waters of the Virgin Islands National Park (VIIS) and newly established Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument (VICR), (2) to correlate this information to in-situ data collected on associated habitat parameters, (3) to use this information to establish the knowledge base necessary for enacting management decisions in a spatial setting and to establish the efficacy of those management decisions. This work is supported by the National Park Service and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project. The report highlights the successes of this mission.
  • St. Thomas and St. John marine monitoring gap analysis [poster]

    Pittman, Simon; Hitt, Steven; Blondeau, Jeremiah (2008)
  • St. Croix marine monitoring gap analysis [poster]

    Pittman, Simon; Hitt, Steven; Blondeau, Jeremiah (2008)
  • Status of coral reef ecosystems in a marine managed area in St. Croix, USVI [poster]

    Hile, Sarah D.; Jeffrey, Chris F.G.; Pittman, Simon J.; Caldow, Chris; Monaco, Mark E.; Hillis-Starr, Zandy (2008)
    This poster presents information on the status and trends of coral reef ecosystems in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (USVI). Data were collected by NOAA’s Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Branch (CCMA-BB) from 2001-2006 at 1,275 random locations in and around Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM). The main objective was to quantify changes in fish species and assemblage diversity, abundance, biomass and size structure; to provide spatially explicit information on the distribution of key species or groups of species; and to compare community structure inside versus outside of BIRNM.
  • Manual for the Sampling Design Tool for ArcGIS

    Buja, Ken; Menza, Charles (NOAA/National Centers for Coastal Ocean ScienceSilver Spring, MD, 2008)
    The Biogeography Branch’s Sampling Design Tool for ArcGIS provides a means to effectively develop sampling strategies in a geographic information system (GIS) environment. The tool was produced as part of an iterative process of sampling design development, whereby existing data informs new design decisions. The objective of this process, and hence a product of this tool, is an optimal sampling design which can be used to achieve accurate, high-precision estimates of population metrics at a minimum of cost. Although NOAA’s Biogeography Branch focuses on marine habitats and some examples reflects this, the tool can be used to sample any type of population defined in space, be it coral reefs or corn fields.
  • Coral reef activity book

    Baker, Susan; Tran, Brigitte; Dorch, Timothy; Mahling, Mary; Maxwell, Vanessa; Chhay, Lauren; Barry, Maria; Wolff, Marci; Maurin, Paulo (NOAA/National Centers for Coastal Ocean ScienceSilver Spring, MD, 2008)
    An activity book for children highlighting coral reef issues. The book includes coral reef information, fun facts, drawings to color, connect the dots, find a word, images, matching, etc. Target audience is K-6th graders.
  • Status of the coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: Florida, Flower Garden Banks, Puerto Rico, Navassa and USVI

    Monaco, Mark E.; Waddell, Jeannette; Clarke, Alicia; Caldow, Chris; Jeffrey, Christopher F.G.; Pittman, Simon; Wilkinson, C. (Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research CenterTownsville, Australia, 2008)
    This chapter covers coral reef areas under the jurisdiction of the USA in the Wider Caribbean: Florida; Flower Garden Banks; Puerto Rico; U.S. Virgin Islands; and Navassa. The following information is condensed from six chapters of The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008. Access to the full text of this comprehensive report is available at:
  • Trade secrets: a ten year overview of the illegal import of sea turtle products into the United States

    Rice, Susan M.; Moore, M. Katherine (2008)
    For more than 25 years all sea turtle products have been prohibited from international commerce by the 170-member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Sea turtles continue to be threatened by direct take (including poaching) and illegal trade despite multi-national protection efforts. Although take may contribute significantly to sea turtle decline, illegal take is difficult to measure since there are few quantified records associated with legal fisheries and fewer still for illegal take (poaching). We can, however, quantify one portion of the illegal sea turtle trade by determining how many illegal products were seized at United States ports of entry over a recent 10-year period. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees the import and export of wildlife and wildlife products, ensuring that wildlife trade complies with United States laws and international treaties. Additionally, the USFWS has legal authority to target suspected illegal wildlife activity through undercover and field investigations. In an effort to assess the scale of illegal sea turtle take and trade, we have conducted a 10-year (1994 – 2003) review of the law enforcement database maintained by the USFWS. This database tracks the number and type of wildlife cases, the quantity of seized products, and the penalties assessed against violators. These data are minimum estimates of the sea turtle products passing through the United States borders, as smuggled wildlife is oftentimes not detected.
  • Harmful algal bloom management and response: assessment and plan

    Jewett, E.B.; Lopez, C.B.; Dortch, Q.; Etheridge, S.M.; Backer, L.C. (Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and TechnologyWashington, D.C., 2008-09)
    This report, "Harmful Algal Bloom Management and Response: Assessment and Plan" reviews and evaluates Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) management and response efforts, identifies current prevention, control, and mitigation programs for HABs, and presents an innovative research, event response, and infrastructure development plan for advancing the response to HABs. In December 2004, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act of 2004, (HABHRCA 2004). The reauthorization of HABHRCA acknowledged that HABs are one of the most scientifically complex and economically damaging coastal issues challenging our ability to safeguard the health of our Nation’s coastal ecosystems. The Administration further recognized the importance of HABs as a high priority national issue by specifically calling for the implementation of HABHRCA in the President’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan. HABHRCA 2004 requires four reports to assess and recommend research programs on HABs in U.S. waters. This document comprises two linked reports specifically aimed at improving HAB management and response: the Prediction and Response Report and the follow-up plan, the National Scientific Research, Development, Demonstration, and Technology Transfer (RDDTT) Plan on Reducing Impacts from Harmful Algal Blooms. This document was prepared by the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health, which was chartered through the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology of the National Science and Technology Council and the Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Resource Management Integration. This report complements and expands upon HAB-related priorities identified in Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy, recently released by the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. It draws from the contributions of numerous experts and stakeholders from federal, state, and local governments, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations through direct contributions, previous reports and planning efforts, a public comment period, and a workshop convened to develop strategies for a HAB management and response plan. Given the importance of the Nation’s coastal ocean, estuaries, and inland waters to our quality of life, our culture, and the economy, it is imperative that we move forward to better understand and mitigate the impacts of HABs which threaten all of our coasts and inland waters. This report is an effort to assess the extent of federal, state and local efforts to predict and respond to HAB events and to identify opportunities for charting a way forward.
  • PCR-based assay for detection of four coral pathogens

    Polson, S.W.; Higgins, J.L.; Woodley, C.M. (2008)
    Several microorganisms have been identified as pathogenic agents responsible for various outbreaks of coral disease. Little has been learned about the exclusivity of a pathogen to given disease signs. Most pathogens have only been implicated within a subset of corals, leaving gaps in our knowledge of the host range and geographic extent of a given pathogen. PCR-based assays provide a rapid and inexpensive route for detection of pathogens. Pathogen-specific 16S rDNA primer sets were designed to target four identified coralpathogens: Aurantimonas coralicida, Serratia marcescens, Vibrio shilonii, and Vibrio coralliilyticus. Assays detected the presence of targets at concentrations of less than one cell per microliter. The assay was applied to 142 coral samples from the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands as an in situ specificity test. Assays displayed a high-level of specificity, seemingly limited only by the resolution of the 16S rDNA.
  • Scientific assessment of freshwater harmful algal blooms

    Lopez, C.B.; Jewett, E.B.; Dortch, Q.; Walton, B.T.; Hudnell, H.K. (Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and TechnologyWashington, D.C., 2008)
    In 2004, Congress reauthorized the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 with the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act (HABHRCA 2004). The 2004 legislation required the generation of five reports, including this "Scientific Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms." HABHRCA 2004 stipulates that this report 1) examine the causes, consequences, and economic costs of freshwater HABs, 2) establish priorities and guidelines for a research program on freshwater HABs, and 3) make recommendations to improve coordination among Federal agencies with respect to research on HABs in freshwater environments. This report is divided into five chapters: Chapter 1 provides the legislative background and process for developing the report, Chapter 2 describes the problem of freshwater and inland HABs in the United States, Chapter 3 outlines the current Federal efforts in freshwater and inland HAB research and response, Chapter 4 discusses the future research priorities, and Chapter 5 delineates opportunities for coordination to advance research efforts. The document is based, in large part, on the proceedings (Hudnell 2008) of the International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms, a meeting convened by EPA and sponsored by a variety of Federal agencies, to describe current scientific knowledge and identify priorities for future research on CyanoHABs. This report offers a plan for coordinating the important research that is currently ongoing in the United States and for guiding future research directions for Federal programs as well as for state, local, private, and academic institutions in order to maximize advancements. To this end, the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health (IWG-4H) identifies seven priorities, all of equal weight, for freshwater HAB research and response. These priorities represent research areas where there is the greatest potential for progress in freshwater HAB research. This report does not attempt to assess the relative importance of freshwater HAB research compared to other research areas or other priorities for Federal or state investment.
  • Scientific assessment of marine harmful algal blooms

    Lopez, C.B.; Dortch, Q.; Jewett, E.B.; Garrison, D. (Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and TechnologyWashington, D.C., 2008-12)
    Algae are the most abundant photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems and are essential components of marine food webs. Harmful algal bloom or “HAB” species are a small subset of algal species that negatively impact humans or the environment. HABs can pose health hazards for humans or animals through the production of toxins or bioactive compounds. They also can cause deterioration of water quality through the buildup of high biomass, which degrades aesthetic, ecological, and recreational values.Humans and animals can be exposed to marine algal toxins through their food, the water in which they swim, or sea spray. Symptoms from toxin exposure range from neurological impairment to gastrointestinal upset to respiratory irritation, in some cases resulting in severe illness and even death. HABs can also result in lost revenue for coastal economies dependent on seafood harvest or tourism, disruption of subsistence activities, loss of community identity tied to coastal resource use, and disruption of social and cultural practices. Although economic impact assessments to date have been limited in scope, it has been estimated that the economic effects of marine HABs in U.S. communities amount to at least $82 million per year including lost income for fisheries, lost recreational opportunities, decreased business in tourism industries, public health costs of illness, and expenses for monitoring and management. As reviewed in the report, Harmful Algal Research and Response: A Human Dimensions Strategy1, the sociocultural impacts of HABs may be significant, but remain mostly undocumented.
  • Prevalence of brevetoxins in prey fish of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

    Fire, Spencer E.; Flewelling, Leanne J.; Naar, Jerome; Twiner, Michael J.; Henry, Michael S.; Pierce, Richard H.; Gannon, Damon P.; Wang, Zhihong; Davidson, Leigh; Wells, Randall S. (2008)
    Blooms of the brevetoxin-producing dinoflagellate Karenia brevis have been linked to high mortality of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast. A clear understanding of trophic transfer of brevetoxin from its algal source up the food web to top predators is needed to assess exposure of affected dolphin populations. Prey fish constitute a means of accumulating and transferring brevetoxins and are potential vectors of brevetoxin to dolphins frequently exposed to K. brevis blooms. Here we report results of brevetoxin analyses of the primary fish species consumed by long-term resident bottlenose dolphins inhabiting Sarasota Bay, Florida. Fish collected during K. brevis blooms in 2003 to 2006 were analyzed by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and had brevetoxin concentrations ranging from 4 to 10844 ng PbTx-3 eq g–1 tissue. Receptor binding assay (RBA) and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis confirmed toxicity and the presence of parent brevetoxins and known metabolites. Fish collected in the absence of K. brevis blooms tested positive for brevetoxin by ELISA and RBA, with concentrations up to 1500 ng PbTx-3 eq g–1 tissue. These findings implicate prey fish exposed to K. brevis blooms as brevetoxin vectors for their dolphin predators and provide a critical analysis of persistent brevetoxin loads in the food web of dolphins repeatedly exposed to Florida red tides.
  • The coastal environment and human health: microbial indicators, pathogens, sentinels and reservoirs

    Stewart, Jill R.; Gast, Rebecca J.; Fujioka, Roger S.; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M.; Meschke, J. Scott; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A.; del Castillo, Erika; Polz, Martin F.; Collier, Tracy K.; Strom, Mark S.; et al. (2008)
    Innovative research relating oceans and human health is advancing our understanding of disease-causing organisms in coastal ecosystems. Novel techniques are elucidating the loading, transport and fate of pathogens in coastal ecosystems, and identifying sources of contamination. This research is facilitating improved risk assessments for seafood consumers and those who use the oceans for recreation. A number of challenges still remain and define future directions of research and public policy. Sample processing and molecular detection techniques need to be advanced to allow rapid and specific identification of microbes of public health concern from complex environmental samples. Water quality standards need to be updated to more accurately reflect health risks and to provide managers with improved tools for decision-making. Greater discrimination of virulent versus harmless microbes is needed to identify environmental reservoirs of pathogens and factors leading to human infections. Investigations must include examination of microbial community dynamics that may be important from a human health perspective. Further research is needed to evaluate the ecology of non-enteric water-transmitted diseases. Sentinels should also be established and monitored, providing early warning of dangers to ecosystem health. Taken together, this effort will provide more reliable information about public health risks associated with beaches and seafood consumption, and how human activities can affect their exposure to disease-causing organisms from the oceans.

View more