The Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) produces status/assessment reports that characterize the physical, chemical, and biological status of U.S. coastal and estuarine environments and ecosystems, including areas managed by NOAA, such as National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves, and the marine portions of some Parks managed by the U.S. National Park Service. CCMA research attempts to distinguishnatural from man-made changes, and to forecast the effects of changes on human uses of coastal resources. These assessments are based on an integrated program of applied research and monitoring. CCMA conducts field-based science at national, regional and local sites in diverse settings ranging from estuaries, to coral reefs, to the deep ocean. CCMA’s work is presented under the four theme areas identified by NCCOS: Harmful Algal Blooms, Coastal Pollution, Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning and Climate Impacts.
For a list of CCMA projects: visit the following project lists from CCMA’s two Branches:
Biogeography Branch Projects
Coastal Ocean Assessments, Status, and Trends (COAST) Branch Projects
Below are selected research projects currently underway or recently completed within CCMA:
Algorithm Development (COAST Branch)
Algorithms are being developed to facilitate ecological forecasting. Development includes modification of the global SeaWiFs algorithm for improved, coast-specific chlorophyll level detection and atmospheric correction.
Biogeographic Assessment of Coastal & Ocean Areas: Coral Reefs Ecosystems,
Marine Protected Areas and More (Biogeography Branch)
The Biogeography Branch has a wide variety of scientific capabilities and a wealth of experience. The Branch’s expertise is in the synthesis, assessment and modeling of the distributions, habitat, movement and life histories of estuarine and marine species.
Spatial models of species, their environment and other ecological metrics are being developed for coral reef ecosystems, marine protected areas, and for coastal and marine spatial planning.
The Branch also develops protocols and methods for marine ecological surveys. For more information on Biogeography projects, visit the Biogeography Branch home page.
Coral Reef Environments (Biogeography Branch and COAST Branch)
CCMA is developing techniques in the air and underwater to assess environmental and ecological changes in coral reefs. This involves determination of water quality patterns and of conditions and trends of coral reef ecosystems, using satellite data and underwater surveys using a variety of methods and tools – e.g., satellites, aircraft, LIDAR, SCUBA, Sonar, remotely operated vehicles. We are also developing improved methods for merging of satellite and aircraft data sets and designing biological survey protocols and methodologies for underwater surveys on coral reef ecosystems.
Eutrophication Forecasting: Climatology (COAST Branch)
In some regions (particularly near major rivers), excess nutrients can be added to the coastal zone, resulting in increased productivity, increased sedimentation of organic matter, and increased bacterial respiration. Our team is currently conducting climatology studies in the Gulf of Mexico to facilitate eutrophication forecasting based on precipitation.
Harmful Algal Blooms: Identification and Monitoring (COAST Branch)
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a concern throughout the coastal areas of the United States. "Harmful Algal Blooms" refers to a diverse phenomena which causes shellfish poisoning, fish/wildlife death, and illness in humans. Studies are specific to each region. For more on HAB Research, visit http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/stressors/extremeevents/hab/HABResearch.aspx