This report highlights the program's exciting discovery of deep-sea coral habitats, which revealed new and currently unprotected deep-sea coral communities off the eastern and southern coasts of Florida. These fragile habitats are home to a wide variety of species, some of which are commercially important. The research, developed in consultation with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, was made possible through collaboration with academic partners, non-governmental organizations, and other federal agencies.
In addition to the discoveries off the southeastern U.S., scientists are exploring deep-sea coral and sponge habitats off the West Coast, documenting their importance for fish, and providing key information to fishery and National Marine Sanctuary managers.
Accompanying the details of the fieldwork are stunning photos of this unique marine life in all regions of the United States and the progress made in our nationwide research over the past two years.
The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program provides scientific information needed to conserve and manage deep-sea coral ecosystems. NOAA is committed to increasing the scientific understanding of these rich and valuable ecosystems and making it available to ocean resource managers to inform conservation actions.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.