New marine life projects support ecosystem conservation and health

Credit: Jeff Hester/Ocean Image Bank

On behalf of the National Oceanographic Partnership ProgramNOAA and partner agencies including NASA, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Office of Naval Research awarded several new proposals that:

  1. Build on the foundations established by the US Marine Biodiversity Observation Networkthe United States Animal Telemetry Network and the United States IOOS Regional Associations to work across sectors and disciplines toward an integrated and sustainable marine life observation capability for the ocean, the coasts and Great Lakes of the United States, from estuaries to the deep ocean.
  2. Advanced technologies for efficient and/or automated collection of species and associated habitat observations.
  3. Enable open access to biodiversity data and information.
  4. Use these observations, technologies and data to meet place-based management, conservation and restoration needs (e.g. sanctuaries, reserves, protected areas, rental blocks, etc.).

The principal investigators and project titles are as follows:

Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
The CeNCOOS MBON: Marine Biodiversity Insights in Support of a Healthy Blue Economy in California’s Midstream
This project will integrate remote sensing products, in situ data, and models in support of a healthy blue economy in the Central California Current. Target users include NOAA’s California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment, National Marine Sanctuary Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the State of California. The objective is to quantify the relationships between climate, the ocean environment (physics, chemistry) and marine food webs (from microbes to fish and top predators), with the aim of providing a predictive understanding of marine ecosystem responses to environmental changes.

Nathan Furey, University of New Hampshire
Quantifying Marine Biodiversity Through Movement and Food: Assessing dynamics of coastal marine ecosystems near the mouths of estuaries
This project will integrate high-performance technologies (acoustic telemetry, environmental DNA [eDNA], and acoustic) with the sampling of traditional fisheries to quantify the impacts of changes in local and regional water conditions on individuals, populations and community structure. The team will study the impacts of forage species and environmental conditions on Atlantic cod and common tern in coastal waters of New Hampshire and southern Maine (Casco Bay).

Cassandra Glaspie, Louisiana State University
Delta Estuaries of Louisiana MBON: Sentinels of Sea Level Rise
Estuarine ecosystems are highly productive and diverse environments that provide essential ecosystem functions and services. This project will establish a new marine biodiversity observation network effort on the Louisiana coast, focusing on highly productive and diverse estuarine ecosystems as sentinels of sea level rise.

Katrin Iken, University of Alaska Fairbanks
AMBON (Arctic MBON) – linking biodiversity observations in the Arctic
The Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observation Network is designed to provide high quality data on the biodiversity of the Arctic Chukchi Sea at all trophic levels, from microbes to whales. This project will continue efforts to collect data on biodiversity across trophic levels and in relation to environmental conditions; use biodiversity data to detect changes in species composition, including invasive species; and determining effective in situ observation designs through modeling.

Frank Muller-Karger, University of South Florida
The Southeastern U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON): Towards a Marine life data for conservation and sustainability
This project will serve as the US IOOS Regional Collaborating Center to address marine biodiversity information needs in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern US EEZ. The effort focuses on the needs of resource managers in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other federal and state jurisdictions covering Biscayne Bay, the Florida Keys, the West Florida Shelf, and deep-sea corals.

Comments are closed.