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Healthy Oceans

Marine fisheries, habitats, and biodiversity sustained within healthy and productive ecosystems*

Ocean ecosystems provide many benefits to humans. They provide food and recreational opportunities, and they support economies. Yet the resources that our marine, coastal, and Great Lakes environments present to us are already stressed by human uses. Habitat changes have depleted fish and shellfish stocks, increased the number of species that are at-risk, and reduced biodiversity. Because humans are an integral part of the ecosystem, declines in ecosystem functioning and quality directly impact human health and well-being. As long-term environmental, climate, and population trends continue, global demands for seafood and energy, recreational use of aquatic environments, and other pressures on habitats and over-exploited species will increase as will concerns about the sustainability of ecosystems and safety of edible fish. Depleted fish stocks and declines in iconic species (such as killer whales, salmon, and sea turtles) result in lost opportunities for employment, economic growth, and recreation along the coasts. In addition, climate change impacts to the ocean, including sea level rise, acidification, and warming, will alter habitats and the relative abundance and distribution of species. Climate change poses serious risks to coastal and marine ecosystems productivity, which, in turn, affects recreational, economic, and conservation activities.*

*from the NOAA Strategic Plan, December 2010

NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal provides access to deep-sea coral and sponge data, images, and technical reports from research funded by NOAA's Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) and its partners.
EcoWatch Data Services EcoWatch is a multi-faceted 'system-of-systems' providing both data management and data support services.
Gulf Hypoxia Monitoring Stakeholder Committee The Gulf Hypoxia Monitoring Stakeholder Committee was established to provide guidance to the Steering Committee for the Gulf Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan.
Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project The Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project responded to the severe damage Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the Gulf of Mexico coastal region in 2005. This project began in 2006 and completed its work in 2009. It is maintained here for historical purposes only.
NOAA Habitat Restoration Monitoring (NOHARM) This website provides a unique interface into over a decade of habitat restoration data in coastal Louisiana.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) NCEI-MS's GIS department provides a variety of online mapping services for the general public.
Joint Analysis Group (JAG) The JAG was formed to analyze sub-surface oceanographic data being derived from the on-going coordinated sampling efforts by private, federal and academic scientists.