The Aquatic Commons is a thematic digital repository covering the natural marine, estuarine /brackish and fresh water environments . It includes all aspects of the science, technology, management and conservation of these environments, their organisms and resources, and the economic, sociological and legal aspects.
The effects of docks on seagrasses, with particular emphasis on the threatened seagrass, Halophila johnsonii - Landry, J. Brooke; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Di Carlo, Giuseppe
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...
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
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...
Conserving oyster reef habitat by switching from dredging and tonging to diver-harvesting - Lenihan, Hunter S.; Peterson, Charles H.
A major cause of the steep declines of American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) fisheries is the loss of oyster habitat through the use of dredges that have mined the reef substrata during a century of intense harvest. Experiments comparing the efficiency and habitat impacts of three alternative gears for harvesting oysters revealed differences among gear types that might be used to help improve the sustainability of commercial oyster fisheries. Hand harvesting by divers produced 25−32% more oysters per unit of time of fishing than traditional dredging and tonging, although the dive operation required two fishermen, rather than one. Per capita returns...
Resiliencia en crestas de arrecifes coralinos del este del golfo de Batabanó, Cuba, y factores determinantes probables - Alcolado, Pedro M.; Caballero-Aragón, Hansel; Lara, Ariagna; Rey-Villiers, Néstor; Arriaza, Liliam; Lugioyo, Gladys M.; Alcolado-Prieto, Pedro; Castellanos, Susel; Perera, Susana; Rodríguez-García, Alain
Se comparó el grado de resiliencia de seis crestas arrecifales del este del golfo de Batabanó, Cuba. Tres fueron del norte del golfo de Cazones (Tramo Norte) y las restantes, del oeste de Cayo Largo (Tramo Sur). Las del primer tramo fueron las de faro Cazones, Norte de la cresta de cayo Diego Pérez y de faro Diego Pérez. Las otras tres fueron las de cayo Rico, arrecifes Los Ballenatos y arrecifes Hijos de Los Ballenatos. Se emplearon los indicadores biológicos del Protocolo AGRRA. El Tramo Norte presentó las crestas más resilientes, sobre todo la de faro Cazones. Las del...
Estado de conservación de la ictiofauna arrecifal en sitios de buceo turístico de
cuatro regiones del Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba. - Lara-Lorenzo, Ariagna; García-Rodríguez, Alain; Chevalier-Monteagudo, Pedro; Salvat-Torres, Héctor; Claro-Madruga, Rodolfo
Los peces constituyen uno de los atractivos principales en los arrecifes coralinos para el buceo
turístico, por lo cual resulta necesario monitorear su abundancia y valores estéticos. El objetivo de esta
investigación fue evaluar el estado de conservación de las asociaciones de peces arrecifales en cuatro de
los principales polos turísticos del Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba en el año 2010. Se
muestrearon 23 sitios de buceo turísticos en áreas adyacentes a las regiones de Varadero (5 sitios),
cayos de Villa Clara (6 sitios), Cayo Coco (6 sitios) y Santa Lucia (6 sitios). En cada uno de ellos se
realizaron seis réplicas de censos visuales de todas las...
Boundary options for a research area within Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary - Kendall, Matthew S.; Eschelbach, Katherine A.
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) is exploring the concept of a research area (RA) within its boundaries. The idea of a research area was first suggested in public scoping meetings held prior to the review of the Gray’s Reef Management Plan. An RA is a region specifically designed for conducting controlled scientific studies in the absence of confounding factors. As a result, a multidisciplinary group gathered by GRNMS was convened to consider the issue. This Research Area Working Group (RAWG) requested that a suite of analyses be conducted to evaluate the issue quantitatively. To meet this need, a novel...
Palmyra Atoll coral reef habitat mapping completion report
The United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order 13089 to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Current, accurate, and consistent maps greatly enhance efforts to preserve and manage coral reef ecosystems. With comprehensive maps and habitat assessments, coral reef managers can be more effective in designing and implementing a variety of conservation measures, including:
• Long-term monitoring programs with accurate baselines from which to track changes;
• Place-based conservation measures such as marine protected areas (MPAs); and
• Targeted research to better understand the oceanographic and ecological processes affecting coral reef...
Integrating remote sensing products and GIS tools to support marine spatial management in West Hawai'i - Wedding , Lisa M.; Gibson, Barbara A.; Walsh, William J.; Battista, Tim A.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) represent a form of spatial management, and geospatial information on living marine resources and associated habitat is extremely important to support best management practices in a spatially discrete MPA. Benthic habitat maps provide georeferenced information on the geomorphic structure and biological cover types in the marine environment. This information supports an enhanced understanding of ecosystem function and species habitat utilization patterns. Benthic habitat maps are most useful for marine management and spatial planning purposes when they are created at a scale that is relevant to management actions. We sought to improve the resolution of existing benthic...
Assessment of natural resource conditions in and adjacent to Dry Tortugas National Park - Jeffrey, Christopher F.G.; Hile, Sarah D.; Addison, Christine; Ault, Jerald S.; Currin, Carolyn; Field, Don; Fogarty, Nicole; Luo, Jiangang; McDonough, Vanessa; Morrison, Doug; Piniak, Greg; Ransibrahmanakul, Varis; Smith, Steve G; Viehman, Shay
This project characterized and assessed the condition of coastal water resources in the Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO) located in the Florida Keys. The goal of the assessment was to: (1) identify the state of knowledge of natural resources that exist within the DRTO, (2) summarize the state of knowledge about natural and anthropogenic stressors and threats that affected these resources, and (3) describe strategies being implemented by DRTO managers to meet their resource management goals.
The park, located in the Straits of Florida 113 km (70 miles) west of Key West, is relatively small (269 square kilometers) with seven small...
Ecological Condition of Coastal Ocean Waters within Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: 2008 - Balthis, W. Leonard; Hyland, Jeffrey L.; Cooksey, Cynthia; Fulton, Michael H.; Wirth, Edward F.; Cobb, Donald; Wiley, David N.
In June 2008, the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS), in conjunction with the EPA National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory (NHEERL), conducted an assessment of the status of ecological condition of soft-bottom habitat and overlying waters within the boundaries of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS). The sanctuary lies approximately 20 nautical miles east of Boston, MA in the southwest Gulf of Maine between Cape Ann and Cape Cod and encompassing 638 square nautical miles (2,181 km2). A total of 30 stations were targeted for sampling using standard methods and indicators applied in prior NOAA coastal
studies and EPA’s Environmental Monitoring...
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) research highlights in the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the
United States. It is a unique and valuable national treasure
because of its ecological, recreational, economic
and cultural benefits. The problems facing the Bay are
well known and extensively documented, and are largely
related to human uses of the watershed and resources
within the Bay. Over the past several decades as the
origins of the Chesapeake’s problems became clear, citizens
groups and Federal, State, and local governments
have entered into agreements and worked together to
restore the Bay’s productivity and ecological health.
In May 2010, President Barack Obama signed Executive
Order number 13508 that tasked a team of Federal
agencies to develop a way...
An integrated biogeographic assessment of reef fish populations and fisheries in Dry Tortugas: Effects of No-take Reserves - Jeffrey, Christopher F. G.; Leeworthy, Vernon R.; Monaco, Mark E.; Piniak, Greg; Fonseca , Mark
The Tortugas Integrated Biogeographic Assessment presents a unique analysis of demographic changes in living resource populations, as well as societal and socioeconomic benefits that resulted from the Tortugas Ecological Reserves during the first five years after their implementation. In 2001, state and federal agencies established two no-take reserves within the region as part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The northern reserve (Tortugas Ecological Reserve North) was established adjacent to the Dry
Tortugas National Park, which was first declared a national monument in 1935. The reserves were designed to protect a healthy coral reef ecosystem that supports diverse faunal assemblages...
Mapping reef fish and the seascape: using acoustics and spatial modeling to guide coastal management - Costa, Bryan; Taylor, J. Christopher; Kracker, Laura; Battista, Tim; Pittman, Simon J.
Reef fish distributions are patchy in time and space with some coral reef habitats supporting higher densities (i.e., aggregations) of fish than others. Identifying and quantifying fish aggregations (particularly during spawning events) are often top priorities for coastal managers. However, the rapid mapping of these aggregations using conventional survey methods (e.g., non-technical SCUBA diving and remotely operated cameras) are limited by depth, visibility and time. Acoustic sensors (i.e., splitbeam and multibeam echosounders) are not constrained by these same limitations, and were used to concurrently map and quantify the location, density and size of reef fish along with seafloor structure in...