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NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP) and specifically the Gray's
Reef National Marine Sanctuary have expressed interest in obtaining a baseline
characterization of the benthic resources within Gray's Reef. To meet this need,
CCMA's Biogeography Branch, in consultation with GRNMS is conducting a characterization
to identify spatial correlations between fish communities, benthic features,
and fishing impacts at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (hereafter, GRNMS
or the sanctuary).
GRNMS encompasses approximately 58 square kilometers of seafloor located
17 nautical miles off the coast of Georgia in approximately 60 feet
of water. Baseline characterization of GRNMS benthic fish and sessile
invertebrates has not been conducted comprehensively throughout the
Sanctuary. This project quantifies those resources through a robust,
statistically defensible sampling design. The project builds upon the
previously completed benthic maps for the sanctuary (completed in 2003
by CCMA Biogeography Branch). Such an assessment is needed to support
the many activities and responsibilities of sanctuary staff including
natural resources management, education, research, and even for promoting
responsible recreational use by fishermen and divers. An understanding
of the distribution of benthic resources provides the spatial framework
within which to conduct sanctuary monitoring activities, identify and
protect essential fish habitat, and properly address other spatially
explicit research and management goals. This baseline characterization
is also the first step in monitoring temporal changes in the Gray's
Reef landscape and understanding more about the dynamic nature of this
region of the continental shelf. To meet this need, the Biogeography Branch mapped benthic habitats of the Sanctuary using sonar imagery. Completed
maps include ledges of varying heights, flat live bottom, flat sand,
and rippled sand. These maps are used to stratify sampling design of
fish and benthic cover. Fish communities, fishing gear, marine debris,
and cover of sessile invertebrates are surveyed along diver transects
within each habitat type.
Reports and Publications
- Kendall, M.S., L.J. Bauer and C.F.G. Jeffrey. 2009. Influence of hard bottom morphology on fish assemblages of the continental shelf off Georgia, southeastern USA. Bulletin of Marine Science 84:265-286. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the article.
Kendall, M.S., L.J. Bauer and C.F.G. Jeffrey. 2008. Influence of Benthic Features and Fishing Pressure on Size and Distribution of Three Exploited Reef Fishes from the Southeastern United States. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137:1134-1146. Contact email@example.com for a copy of the article.
Bauer, L.J., M.S. Kendall, and C.F.G. Jeffrey. 2008. Incidence of marine debris and its relationships with benthic features in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Southeast USA. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 56:402-413. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the article.
Kendall, M.S., L.J. Bauer and C.F.G. Jeffrey. 2007. Characterization of the Benthos, Marine Debris and Bottom Fish at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Prepared by National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Team in cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 50. 82 pp. + Appendices. Contact email@example.com for a copy of the article.
Kendall, M.S., O.P. Jensen, C. Alexander, D. Field, G. McFall, R. Bohne, and M.E. Monaco. 2005. Benthic mapping using sonar, video transect, and an innovative approach to accuracy assessment: a characterization of bottom creatures in the Georgia Bight. Journal of Coastal Research 21: 1154-1165. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the article.
Kendall, M. S., O.P. Jensen, C. Alexander, D. Field, G. McFall, R. Bohne, and M. E. Monaco. 2003. Benthic Habitats of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA Biogeography Team Technical Report, pp 1-15. Contact email@example.com for a copy of the article.
- Benthic maps are available from GRNMS only (contact
- Data are available from GRNMS only (contact information below)
Completed: 2002 - 2007
For More Information
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910