The diverse habitats and ecosystems of the coastal U.S., spanning the rocky coast of Maine to the coral reefs of the Pacific, are all affected by human use of land and ocean resources. To address this complex issue, CCMA's Biogeography Branch is developing products, applications, and processes for defining and interpreting the relationships between species distributions and their environments. These efforts, like most projects in CCMA, are cooperative efforts among several agencies, including NOAA's National Geodetic Survey, the U.S. Department of the Interior, state and local governments, and various educational institutions.
Other projects addressing land and resource use include habitat suitability modeling using geographic information systems and coastal oceanic strategic assessment data atlases. CCMA also maintains estuarine living marine resources (ELMR) data sets for U.S. Mid- and North Atlantic estuaries. These data sets contain distribution, abundance, and life history information for 153 species across five life stages in 122 estuaries across five different regions.
CCMA also participates in the congressionally mandated U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. CCMA scientists provide status reports on coral reef areas in U.S. coastal waters and in the Pacific Freely Associated States. In addition, CCMA’s Coastal Oceanographic Assessment, Status and Trends team conducts bioeffects studies to identify and assess the sources and impacts of contaminant runoff on our estuaries and coastal ocean. This information is made available via specialized regional reports, such as “Status and Trends of Contaminant Levels in Sediment and Biota of the Waters of the Carolinas.” In addition, CCMA's National Status and Trends Program monitors for the presence of pathogens that are signs of sewage contamination, urban runoff, or a specific land-use activity, such as concentrated animal feeding operations.
Additional NCCOS projects relating to this topic are: