NOAA's Ecosystem Goal Team Newsletter

January 2008

Spotlight On

In The News



Upcoming Events



"Spotlight on"

The NOAA Aquaculture Program

As the nation's oceans agency, NOAA has a strong mandate to enable additional marine aquaculture within the framework of its responsibilities to protect the marine environment. In 2004, the agency launched a revived Aquaculture Matrix Program, led by Dr. Michael Rubino, to manage and integrate the agency's aquaculture policies, research, outreach, and international obligations.

Guided by the National Aquaculture Act of 1980, the Department of Commerce Aquaculture Policy, the NOAA Aquaculture Policy, Magnuson-Stevens, and other federal laws, the program focuses on coastal and offshore farming of marine shellfish and finfish, and the enhancement (hatchery) activities that support commercial and recreational fishing, some endangered species restoration, and habitat restoration.

Key program staff includes Susan Bunsick, Senior Policy Analyst; David O'Brien, Program Coordinator; Kevin Amos, National Aquatic Animal Health Coordinator; Dr. Andy Lazur, the Aquaculture Program Coordinator for the National Sea Grant Program; and Kate Naughten, Outreach Coordinator. Experts at NOAA's laboratories and regional science centers and offices also play a critical role in the program.

In 2007, the Aquaculture Program was instrumental in drafting the Administration's National Offshore Aquaculture Act released to Congress. If enacted, the bill will create a regulatory framework to allow for aquaculture operations in federal waters and establish a research program for all marine aquaculture.

The program coordinated the National Marine Aquaculture Summit in 2007, which attracted over 200 participants who made recommendations on the integration of aquaculture into domestic seafood production. The program also launched a redesigned website:

In 2008, the program will continue to work with partners in NOAA and other agencies, research institutions, and the aquaculture industry to address environmental issues associated with aquaculture. For example, the Aquaculture Program will team with the Habitat Program and the shellfish industry to sponsor a symposium on shellfish culture.

Advances in the development of alternative feeds for aquaculture will also be a focus in 2008, along with the coordination of the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative, a competitive grants program that encourages demonstration projects and research targeted to the development of sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States.

Contact: Kate Naughten -; or (240) 687-9811.

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In the News

Coral Reef Conservation: CRCP External Review Report Now Available.

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) convened a seven-member panel of distinguished experts to conduct an external review of the program September 24-26, 2007 in Washington, D.C. The panel meeting included 'self-assessment' presentations from the CRCP and input/discussion with a variety of CRCP customers and stakeholders. The panel was charged with assessing CRCP effectiveness over a five-year period (2002-2006) and providing its findings and recommendations for the future direction of the program in a final report. The Panel was highly impressed with the accomplishments of the CRCP to date.

Ten recommendations were put forward in December 2007; they are summarized here. The panel felt the program should:

  • Retain its current mission, but in the future should place greater emphasis on management-relevant science that is communicated to managers in a more timely manner.
  • Consolidate, periodically update, and sharpen the goals of the program.
  • Reconsider the balance of its activities.
  • Revise the existing regional activities distribution formula to allow for more flexibility.
  • The CRCP should reconsider its science agenda and implement an efficient review process.
  • Improve the education and outreach products and services it provides.
  • Strengthen its partnerships both at the program level and at the agency level.
  • Work with its partners to develop cost-effective protocols for measuring management performance in conserving and sustaining coral reefs and related ecosystems.

The panel also felt that NOAA should:

  • Address the significant mismatch between current resources and the scale of actions needed to halt and reverse the decline of coral reefs and related ecosystems.
  • Work with U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to increase the use of that body as a national forum for addressing coral reef issues.

The CRCP is now in the early stages of developing a framework within which to craft the future direction of the program. This effort will incorporate the review panel's recommendations, any new mandates that may be included in a reauthorized Coral Reef Conservation Act, and suggestions solicited from reef managers, scientists, advocates, and stakeholders. More information about the review, as well as copies of the self-assessment, the panel's report, and other materials are available here.



Ecosystem Observations: Mussel Watch Provides 22 Years of National Contaminant Trends Data to Assist Coastal Managers with Resource Decisions

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's (NCCOS) Mussel Watch Project completed its 22nd year of monitoring environmental contaminants at 140 of the more than 300 sites across the country, culminating with the collection of the eastern Great Lakes Mussel Watch sampling sites. This was the 17th year of Great Lakes sampling which began after the introduction of the invasive zebra mussel species to the Great Lakes in 1988. This year's contaminant data collections included extracting sediments from the Mussel Watch sites for characterization of the same suite of organic contaminants and trace elements. Additionally, this year's Great Lakes collection occurred with the collaboration of three of Mussel Watch's more than 30 coastal partners; the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRS), at Old Woman Creek in East Huron, Ohio, the Hudson River NERR at Tivoli, New York and NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For more information, please contact Cliff Cosgrove at (301) 713-3028 x151 or or Gunnar Lauenstein at (301) 713-3028 x152 or

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Ecosystem Research: Researcher's warning helps save lives in Bangladesh

Sea Grant researcher, Hassan Mashriqui may have saved thousands of lives when Cyclone Sidr, a Category 4 storm, roared ashore from the Bay of Bengal near the border of India and Bangladesh on November 15. Mashriqui predicted a storm surge as high as 12 feet and associated flooding that might reach 20 to 50 miles inland. His information helped officials decide how and where to evacuate before the storm. After the storm passed, he provided hindcasting to guide aid and rescue efforts to locations that had been hardest hit. The death toll from Sidr is estimated to be at least 3,500 - tragic, and more than twice the number of dead from Hurricane Katrina, but significantly fewer then in past cyclones. Mashriqui wants to ensure that Bangladesh scientists and emergency planners gain the same predictive powers that save lives in the Gulf of Mexico. While they have the ability to track and forecast tropical cyclones, they do not have the tools or training to predict storm surge. Information on Mashriqui's work is available online at


Ecosystem Research: Scientific Anomaly Explained by New NOAA Research to Improve Harmful Algal Bloom Forecasting and Mitigation

Researchers from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science reported a recent discovery that certain harmful algal bloom (HAB) species are adapted to low concentrations of the nutrient ammonium, even though blooms of these species often occur in ammonium-enriched environments. The discovery is significant because it explains how the HAB species out-compete beneficial algal species during blooms after ammonium has been consumed down to very low levels by non-harmful algae. These findings also help explain the longevity of blooms. The new data are being combined with the ecological theory that predicted the anomaly to develop computer models for HAB dynamics, including bloom initiation, continuance, and severity. The discovery, which has already received a high level of interest from the scientific community, will be shared in a special session at the next Ocean Sciences Meeting (March 2008), and was published in late November 2007 in the journal Limnology and Oceanography.

Ecosystem Research: NOAA Scientists Evaluate Seagrass Impacts from San Francisco Oil Spill and Help Shape Restoration Plans

In late November a team of scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) evaluated the impacts to seagrass beds in San Francisco Bay from the release of 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel from the cargo ship Cosco Busan. Working with NOAA's Restoration Center and Office of Response and Restoration, the NCCOS scientists compared shoot density, rhizome production, and photosynthesis of seagrass beds at oiled and un-oiled sites, including previously studied sites. Evaluation of this information is ongoing.

Historically, it was believed that seagrasses were not highly susceptible to oil effects, except when physically covered with oil or when dispersants were used. This oil spill provided a unique opportunity to determine whether changes to the surrounding environment might have cascading effects on seagrass health that have not been previously investigated.

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Ecosystem Research: NOAA-sponsored Mission Will Use AUV Technology to Study Coral Reefs and Associated Ecosystems

"Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies," is a NOAA-sponsored expedition now underway to investigate shallow and deep corals off Bonaire and their associated ecosystems, using divers (to 100 meters) and new technology in the form of three AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) to survey arguably the most pristine coral reef environment in the Caribbean. The mission is underway, through January 30, and is chronicled at with daily logs from scientists, lesson plans aligned with the mission and meeting National Science Education Standards, and still and video imagery to illustrate the mission's activities and discoveries.

The AUVs will obtain wide-area baseline information about reef biological and physical environments. To our knowledge, this will be the first science expedition using multiple AUVs to chart relatively unknown reefs off Bonaire, and likely the first to do so anywhere on coral reefs. This is important because of scale - the AUVs can obtain data, including images, from large areas of coral reef systems allowing scientists to pinpoint areas for further investigation by divers or other sensors or systems.

In shallower waters, this expedition will help detect changes in Bonaire's reefs from limited surveys in the 80's and 90's and select ground-truthing will be conducted by SCUBA divers using compressed air, or trimix (helium, nitrogen and oxygen). In deeper waters, the AUVs will survey the "Twilight Zone" (65 meters to 150 meters, or 200 to 500 feet) where little is known about reef systems in Bonaire's deeper leeward waters. On the windward side, and as feasible and safe, AUVs are scheduled to survey reefs where there is virtually no data to describe deep coral reef environments, and AUVs may also search for undersea clues about tsunamis as far back as 4,000 years ago.

NOAA is providing personnel support and funding. The College of William and Mary, the University of Delaware, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography are providing science leadership and the NOAA's Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is providing SCUBA diving expertise and equipment to measure the physical oceanography of the reef.

Habitat: Saco River Fish Passage Agreement Kicks-off in Maine:

On November 14, 2007, NOAA and its partners celebrated the recently-signed 2007 Saco River Fisheries Assessment Agreement, which will open 80 miles of river habitat for Atlantic salmon, American shad, alewife, blueback herring, and American eel. Tim Keeney and Patricia Kurkul, along with staff from the Northeast Regional Office, represented NOAA at the event. To achieve this agreement, NOAA Fisheries used its Federal Power Act authority to turn difficult dam relicensing negotiations for one hydropower dam into a comprehensive agreement covering six dams. The agreement avoids costly litigation and will re-open the Saco River from its mouth in Saco, Maine to the New Hampshire border.

NOAA's National Hydropower Team received the Department of Commerce's Gold Medal award in part for its leadership in the two and half years of negotiations that led to the agreement. The result is an ecosystem approach to river management that protects habitat necessary for the survival of migratory fish. The agreement provides upstream and downstream fish passage at the river's lower six hydropower projects; includes studies to evaluate fish passage and management needs at individual dams; enhances stocking efforts for Atlantic salmon throughout the Maine portion of the Saco watershed; and will help educate the public about migratory fish and the need for their passage at dams.

Parties to the agreement include FPL Energy Maine Hydro, Department of Interior/US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Saco River Salmon Club, and NOAA Fisheries.

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Habitat: NOS Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) Continues To Coordinate on Protection and Restoration Activities at the Alcoa/Lavaca Bay Restoration Site

This past fall, staff from the NOS Office of Response and Restoration participated with our co-trustees in an amphibious field reconnaissance of the Alcoa/Lavaca Bay restoration project to help our partner, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, develop a story for its March 2008 magazine, tentatively titled "To Save a Bay: A New Spirit of Cooperation Brings Lavaca Bay Back to Life." The marsh is a jewel on the north shore of Powderhorn Lake, already supporting anchovies and pogies in its ponds and white shrimp and trout at the marshy fringes. Alligators have moved into the upper, fresher parts; rattlesnakes bask at the edge of the prairie, while cranes feed nearby. Oysters are ready for harvest on the reef; oystermen culling at the edge of the reef will help the reef expand from its present 11 acres to approximately 22 acres. Alcoa has spent about $110 million on cleanup activities and projects to offset injures to fish and wildlife and to compensate for losses of recreational fishing in Lavaca Bay. With Alcoa, NOAA and co-trustees have:

  • Constructed a 70-acre marsh within and adjacent to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Purchased 729 acres of coastal habitat that will be transferred to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Created an 11-acre oyster reef that will grow to 22 acres and is available for harvest;
  • Built three new fishing piers, two new docks, and made other improvements to public access facilities around the bay; and
  • Provided funds to maintain the facilities for 15 years.


Habitat: NOAA Sponsors Workshop on Habitat Equivalency Analysis

The December 4 - 6, 2007 Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) Metrics Workshop sponsored jointly by the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) and OR&R's Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD), was exceptionally productive. HEA is a methodology used to determine compensation for such resource injuries. The principal concept underlying the method is that the public can be compensated for past losses of habitat resources through habitat replacement projects providing additional resources of the same type. The recent Workshop, held at the University of New Hampshire, engaged a pool of trustee, academia, and industry representatives in a dialogue about commonly used and potential alternative metrics for capturing losses and/or scaling marsh restoration in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) cases. The Workshop structure featured five breakout groups, each with a diverse composition. Each group defined its own approach to evaluating known and potential metrics. A number of common themes emerged across the groups. Of particular note, all groups considered HEA to be a sound assessment/restoration scaling method and commonly used marsh metrics stood up to scrutiny. The group discussions also led to identification of areas for future research, recent advances in technologies, and potential ways to possibly strengthen the HEA assessment tool.

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Ecosystem Research: Oceans and Human Health Initiative's (OHHI) - Consortia for Graduate Traineeships in Oceans and Human Health

The OHHI is pleased to announce four "Consortia for Graduate Traineeships in Oceans and Human Health" awards. These traineeships awards require multiple institutions to collaborate in the training of pre- and post-doctoral students, or both, in OHH science and application. The awardees are: Pacific Northwest Consortium for Pre and Post-doctoral Traineeships in Oceans and Human Health at The University of Washington; Georgia Oceans and Human Health Initiative Graduate Training Consortium at the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc; Training Tomorrow's Ecosystem and Public Health Leaders Using Marine Mammals as Sentinels of Oceanic Change at the University of California, Davis; and Interdisciplinary Research and Training Initiative on Coastal Ecosystems and Human Health at the University of Connecticut. Sea Grant is a key partner in the University of Washington's and University of Connecticut's Traineeship Consortia programs and the University of California, Davis'sprogram will be linked with some Protected Species Program activities.

For more information contact



Aquaculture: Two Aquaculture Documents Released

The NOAA Aquaculture Program recently released two documents, NOAA's 10-Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture, and the Summary of the 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit. Both are available on the program website at: The 10-Year Plan provides a broad framework for U.S. marine aquaculture, goals for the NOAA Aquaculture Program, and an assessment of the challenges the agency will face in its effort to reach those goals. The Summit Summary is an overview of the purpose and outcomes of the summit, including highlights and recommendations from each of the 8 panel discussions. For more information, contact

Coral Reef Conservation: Launch of Caribbean Reef Status Report and IYOR 2008 to be Held in D.C. This Week.

A report entitled 'Status of Caribbean Coral Reefs After Bleaching and Hurricanes in 2005' and the International Year of the Reef 2008 (IYOR 2008) will be launched in a series of events in association with the first general meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) U.S./Mexico Co-Secretariat this week.

The report on impacts to Caribbean reefs due to temperature stress and hurricanes will be launched on January 24 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. NOAA is one of the major financial supporters of the report, which was published by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Contributions were made by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), including Coral Reef Watch (CRW, NESDIS), National Marine Sanctuary Program - Southeast Region (NOS), and the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (NOS).

The IYOR launch will include a press briefing and an official launch reception on January 24th, and a half-day symposium on January 25th. The symposium will celebrate IYOR through a showcase of IYOR activities taking place around the world, and will allow ICRI participants to meet, share, brainstorm and coordinate their IYOR plans. The symposium is open to ICRI Members, participating organizations, the D.C.-based marine community, the public and the press.

The launch of IYOR 2008 marks the beginning of a year-long campaign of events and activities hosted by a wide range of governments and nongovernmental organizations around the world. The purpose of IYOR is to raise awareness of the importance of coral reef ecosystems, the threats they face, the important activities that are underway and additional actions that are still needed. Planned highlights include the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, hosted by the U.S., the release of the Global and U.S. reports on the condition of coral reef ecosystems, the 10th anniversary of the US Coral Reef Task Force, as well as many other high-visibility international, national, regional and local events.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in IYOR 2008; we welcome you to learn more about the international efforts for IYOR 2008 or to contact us to learn more about what NOAA is doing for IYOR 2008 and how you can contribute.


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Ecosystem Research: NCCOS Improves Scientific Support for Coastal Management through its New Human Dimensions Strategic Plan

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is pleased to announce the release of its Human Dimensions Strategic Plan (FY2009-FY2014).

The mission of the Ecosystem Goal Team is to protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management (EAM). Marine science and policy institutions in the United States and worldwide recognize that a deeper understanding of the human dimensions of ecosystems - human causes, consequences, and responses to ecosystem stress - is needed to achieve this mis­sion. Examples of this recognition include statements by the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources, United States Commission on Ocean Policy, Pew Oceans Com­mission, and NOAA's External Ecosys­tem Task Team.

The NCCOS Human Dimensions Strategic Plan establishes goals and objectives to foster improved scientific support of an EAM by expanding NCCOS's science program to include an integral focus on human dimensions. For example, objectives aim to facilitate stakeholder participation in coastal decision-making, understand socioeconomic drivers of ecosystem stress, assess societal consequences of management options, integrate traditional and local ecological knowledge into science and management, examine ethical questions, foster community resilience, include critical societal components in Ecosystem Integrated Assessments, and develop integrative ecosystem models. NCCOS is now developing an implementation strategy on the basis of the plan, and looks forward to partnering with other EGT programs in this effort.

For more information, please see the NCCOS human dimensions website ( or contact Marybeth Bauer at or (301) 593-4724.


Ecosystem Research: "Satellite SAR remote sensing of Great Lakes Ice Cover"

NOAA/ERP Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Physical Scientist George Leshkevich, in conjunction with Son Nghiem of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have recently published two ice mapping and classificationpapers that represent the culmination of a 10 year research and development effort. Their research product; a unique library of radar signatures producing color coded maps of ice types and distribution, is relevant to both lake level and climate change research. Their research provides the means to interpret both current and future C Band satellite radar imagery that is generated daily. The ice maps provide important and necessary input for ice forecasting and modeling efforts, environmental protection and management, ice control and ice breaking operations.

Results of this study "Satellite SAR remote sensing of Great Lakes Ice Cover, Part 1. Ice backscatter signatures at C-band," and "Part 2. Ice Classification and Mapping" are reported by Son V. Nghiem and George A. Leshkevich in the latest issue (Volume 33, No 4, pp. 722-735 and pp. 736-750) of the Journal of Great Lakes Research, published by the International Association for Great Lakes Research, 2007.

For more information about the study, contact Son V. Nghiem, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, MS 300-235, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109,, (818) 354-2892, and George A. Leshkevich, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, 2205 Commonwealth Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105,, (734) 741-2265.

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Ecosystem Research: "Interagency Oceans and Human Health Research Implementation Plan: A Prescription for the Future", is now available on-line on the NOAA's Oceans and Human Health Initiative (OHHI) Website: and the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) Website: This plan is a product of the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia and Human Health, chartered through the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology of the National Science and Technology Council, with lead authors from NOAA's OHHI and NSF. The plan establishes goals and priorities for Federal research and outreach that will most effectively advance scientific understanding of the connections between the oceans and human health (OHH), and provide usable information for the prediction of marine-related public health problems, and for the development of new treatments of human diseases. The plan summarizes work underway in the OHH programs in NOAA's Oceans and Human Health Initiative (OHHI) and NSF - NIEHS Research Centers of Excellence in OHH and related work in CDC, EPA, FDA, NASA, USGS and MMC. Specifically, the plan outlines recommended implementation actions that when taken together will help ensure a strong Interagency OHH Program and advance OHH research and useful application, leading to reduced health risks and increased health benefits.

For more information contact

Ecosystem Research: The Prediction and Response Report, renamed the National Assessment of Efforts to Predict and Respond to Harmful Algal Blooms in US Waters, was published in September 2007. It is the first step in a process to create an innovative research plan on prediction and response. The purpose of this report is to detail federal, state, and tribal prediction and response-related research and impact assessments, evaluate prediction and response programs, and highlight needs for prediction and response efforts and associated infrastructure. The assessment of current prediction and response programs and identification of needs will lead to the development of the second report, the National Scientific Research, Development, Demonstration, and Technology Transfer Plan on Reducing Impacts from Harmful Algal Blooms (RDDTT Plan) stipulated by the HABHRCA 2004 legislation. The Prediction and Response Report and the RDDTT Plan together will comprise a comprehensive evaluation and plan with multi-stakeholder input to improve the national and local response to HABs in U.S. waters.

For more information contact


Ecosystem Research: NOAA Technical Paper on Deep-Sea Corals Will Help Guide Future Explorations and Resource Managers

NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research will publish in February 2008, a 176-page NOAA Technical Report titled, "Southeastern United States Deep-Sea Corals (SEADESC) Initiative." The report delivers to scientists and resource managers, data from deep-sea habitats (200 to 2000 meters) based in large part on a series of NOAA-funded ocean expeditions from 2001 to 2004 off the southeastern United States. The report includes numerous "Dive Summaries," and "Site Characterizations." The deeper areas characterized are largely unknown and serve as a transition from the continental shelf into the deep sea. Many of the areas studied are difficult to reach because of rugged bottom topography and strong overlying Gulf Stream and other currents.

Goals of the initiative included characterizing and mapping deep-sea corals, providing deep-sea coral ecosystem data to facilitate management decisions, assisting ongoing and new scientific deep-coral investigations, prioritizing areas for future exploration, helping to coordinate regional deep-sea coral management and research, and facilitating education and outreach related to deep-sea corals.

The report will be available in early February to interested scientists who contact the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, or who download the report at

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Habitat & Coral Reef Conservation: NOAA Unveils Inaugural Report to Build a Foundation for Protecting Deep Sea Corals

On Monday December 10th, NOAA unveiled a new report, The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States: 2007, illustrating the astounding abundance and variety of life deep coral ecosystems support in U.S. waters at depths greater than 150 feet. The peer-reviewed report presents a national overview and seven regional assessments that discuss the biology of deep corals and their associated species, spatial distribution of deep corals, stressors that may threaten their survival, current management measures, and regional priorities for future research.

Called for in the President's Ocean Action Plan, the report provides a baseline for future research and management of these unique and vulnerable ecosystems. Conservation concerns led Congress to include measures in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 to enhance research and protection of these remarkable habitats. The report was developed under the auspices of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program's Deep Coral Team and written by scientists from the NOAA Fisheries Science Centers and Office of Habitat Conservation, as well as scientists from the academic community.

A full color copy of the report is available for download (PDF, 30 MB). More information, and the ability to download the report by chapter, can be found on the NMFS Office of Habitat Conservation Web site. Printed copies or CDs of the volume may be obtained by contacting Dr. Thomas Hourigan (, 301-713-3459), the NMFS Deep Coral Coordinator.

Additional Contacts (CRCP):, or

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Upcoming Events

Aquaculture: Aquaculture America

The annual Aquaculture America meeting will be held in Buena Vista, FL, Feb. 9-11, 2008. Dr. Michael Rubino, Kevin Amos, and Dr. Andy Lazur of the NOAA Aquaculture Program will be speaking at the event. For more information -

Aquaculture: 28th Annual Milford Aquaculture Seminar

The 28th annual Milford Aquaculture Seminar will be held in Meridian, CT, Feb. 25-27, 2008. Susan Bunsick, Senior Policy Analyst for the Aquaculture Program will be speaking at the event. For more information -

Ecosystem Research: March 3-9 Ocean Sciences Meeting -several special sessions led by ERP scientists:

Special Session: Session #056 - Elizabeth Turner, Mike Dowgiallo, and Felix Martinez chair a special session at the Ocean Sciences Meeting on "Ecosystem Research Informing Management Decisions". Session description available at, search for session #056. For more information contact, or 603-862-4680. (CSCOR)

Special Session: Session #076 - "Watersheds and Coral Reefs: Science, Policy and Implementation." This session will focus on case histories that provide insight on how biophysical and the social sciences can be applied to manage human behaviors responsible for coral reef destruction. For additional information, contact Felix A. Martinez,, or Mike Dowgiallo, (CSCOR)

Special Session: Session #107 - "Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms: Regional and Comparative Studies of the GEOHAB and ECOHAB Programs" This session will focus on synthesis papers that report on large scale regional Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) projects, or which apply comparative approaches for HABs in upwelling, eutrophic, coastal lagoon or highly stratified systems. For more information contact Danielle Luttenberg Meitiv, (CSCOR)

Town Hall Forum - Libby Jewett, with partners outside NOS, is organizing the panel discussion, "Ocean Acidification: Towards an Interagency Approach". Forum description can be found at For more information, contact . (CSCOR)

Ecosystem Research: July 14-16, 2008: Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (MCE) Symposium -

This symposium will bring together international experts to assess the state of knowledge of MCE's, management implications, and research needs of this poorlyunderstood marine environment. For more information contact and (CSCOR)

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CRCP Names New Program Manager and OCRM Coral Division Chief

It is with great pleasure that the CRCP announces Katherine (Kacky) Andrews as the new Coral Program Manager. Kacky comes to NOAA from the Coastal States Organization (CSO) where she has served as the Executive Director since November 2005. In that role she developed long range strategies to advance coastal and ocean management; oversaw policy development; and established sound working relationships with federal, state, and non-profit organizations. Prior to coming to the Washington, D.C. area she was employed with the State of Florida and The Nature Conservancy working to protect the ecological integrity of Florida's coastal and ocean ecosystems. In addition, she directed the Florida Coral Reef Conservation Program and served as the Florida member on the USCRTF Steering Committee. Kacky is a leader in the field of coastal management and her skills, experience, and passion are an excellent match for this position. We are thrilled to have her as part of the NOAA family.

Kacky is committed to fulfilling a 6 month Ian Axford Fellowship in New Zealand; the program understood the conditions of her commitment prior to extending her an offer and felt that the skills and expertise that she will bring to CRCP are worth this wait. She joined the CRCP briefly on December 17, 2007 and departed for New Zealand on January 5. Kacky will be traveling back from New Zealand in July 2008 for the International Coral Reef Symposium and will join the program permanently at the beginning of August 2008. In her short time in the office, Kacky has already begun to set the direction for responding to the recommendations of the Program Review Panel.

While Kacky is in New Zealand, David Kennedy will remain the Manager of the Coral Reef Conservation Program and maintain his current roles and responsibilities. The NOS Coral Coordination Team will be managed and overseen by Steve Thur, as the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management's (OCRM) Acting Coral Division Chief. Steve, who has been on detail serving as the Acting Team Manager of the Coral Team since June of 2007, has now become a permanent part of OCRM and the CRCP.


EOP: New Director of the National Oceanographic Data Center

Dr. Margarita Conkright Gregg became the new Director of NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) on December 23, 2007. She most recently served as the Deputy Director of NOAA's Climate Program Office where she was leading the budget planning and formulation for the Climate Program. Dr. Gregg looks forward to continued interactions with NOAA's Ecosystem Goal Team.

Dr. Gregg started her career at NOAA as an Oceanographer in NODC, working her way up to the team lead for the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Research Branch. From NODC, Dr. Gregg spent time working at the interagency Climate Change Science Program Office, helping to coordinate 13 federal agencies involved in climate research. She then moved to NOAA's Climate Program Office.

Dr. Gregg received an M.S. in Marine Science (Biological Oceanography) and Ph.D. in Marine Science (Chemical Oceanography) from the University of South Florida. She has authored or co-authored over 15 papers, mostly on global analysis of ocean chlorophyll and nutrients.

ERP: Knauss Fellows - Hello/Goodbye

Bye-bye Shawn Arellano, Knauss Fellow for ERP! Shawn will be leaving NOAA Jan. 25 to return to the west coast where she plans to complete her PhD from the University of Oregon's Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in March. She plans to do postdoctoral research when she finishes.

Be sure to welcome ERP's new Knauss Fellow, Aaron Kornbluth. Aaron comes to ERP from the University of New Hampshire, where he received an M.S. in Natural Resource Science, and he is eager to work with the Ecosystem Programs.

ERP: New Program Analyst for the Oceans and Human Health Initiative

Please welcome Bree Thompson as the new Program Analyst for the OHHI. Bree is stationed in Silver Spring, MD, SSMC 3. She previously worked in OAR's Climate Program Office for 15 years and managed 6 of their grant programs within the Climate and Societal Interactions Branch.

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The next Newsletter will be distributed on March 28, 2007. Please send submissions to by NOON on Friday, March 14th. Please try to limit the length of your submissions to 350 words or less.

The Newsletter is a bimonthly e-mail newsletter on Ecosystem Goal Team activities throughout NOAA. The Newsletter is produced by the NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team staff to facilitate communication within NOAA and serve as a source of ecosystem information. The NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team supports effective management and sound science to promote an ecosystem approach to management.

Submissions, questions or comments?
Contact Karen Eason, NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team
(301) 713-9075 x160

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January 24, 2008