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Marine Species Monitoring

Atlantic Region: Current Projects


 


Atlantic Fleet Training & Testing Monitoring Projects

 

The table below summarizes marine species monitoring projets being conducted in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in support of Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Marine Mammal Protection Act requirements (50 CFR Part 218).  Reports and data from these projects will be made available on the individual project profile pages and the Reading Room as they become available.

Project titles link directly to individual project profile pages with additional details and access to data and reports.


*Intermediate Scientific Objectives are established in coordination with NMFS through the Strategic Planning Process to help prioritize monitoring investments

Project Description Intermediate Scientific Objective* Status
Title: Atlantic Behavioral Response Study

Location: Cape Hatteras study area

Objectives: Assess behavioral response of beaked and pilot whales to mid-frequency tactical sonar

Methods: Controlled exposure experiments, DTAGs, satellite tags

Performing Organizations: Southall Environmental Associates, Duke University, Cascadia Research Collective, CREEM - University of St. Andrews

Timeline: 2017-2020

Funding: FY16 - $35k, FY17 - $1.6M

Evaluate behavioral responses of marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

New start 2017

Field sessions planned for May and Sept 2017
Title: Lower Chesapeake Bay Sea Turtle Tagging and Tracking

Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay (Hampton Roads)

Objectives: Assess ocurrence and behavior of loggerhead, green, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the Hampton Roads region of Chesapeake Bay and coastal Atlantic Ocean

Methods: Satellite, GPS, and acoustic telemetry tags

Performing Organizations: Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation, NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2013 through 2017

Funding: FY13 - $180K, FY14 - $195K, FY15 - $70k, FY16 - $183k

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas.

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur.

Field work - summers 2013-16

Technical progress reports available - 2013-2016
Title: Haul-Out Counts and Photo-Identification of Pinnipeds in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Location: Chesapeake Bay

Objectives: Document seasonal occurrence, habitat use, and haul-out patterns of seals

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID

Performing Organizations: NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2014 to 2017

Funding: Funding: FY15 $52K; FY16 $57K

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur

Evaluate trends in distribution and abundance of populations that are regularly exposed to sonar and underwater explosives

New start winter 2014-15

2015-16 annual progress report available
Title: Acoustic Monitoring and Evaluation of Tursiops Response to MINEX Training activities

Location: Hampton Roads coastal Atlantic Ocean, W-50 MINEX training range

Objectives: Assess ocurrence of Tursiops in the vicinity of the W-50 MINEX range. Assess vocal response of Tursiops to underwater explosions

Methods: passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: Oceanwide Science Institute

Timeline: 2012 through 2016

Funding: FY12 - $230K, FY13 - $230K, FY14 - $230, FY15 - $135k

Establish the baseline vocalization behavior of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Develop analytic methods to evaluate behavioral responses based on passive acoustic monitoring techniques

Evaluate behavioral responses by marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Field work complete

Final analysis complete
Title: Occurrence, Ecology, and Behavior of Deep-diving Odontocetes

Location: Cape Hatteras

Objectives: Establish behavioral baseline and foraging ecology. Assess behavioral response to acoustic stimuli and Navy training activities

Methods: Visual surveys, biopsy sampling, DTAGs, satellite tags

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Cascadia Research Collective

Timeline: 2013-2017

Funding: FY13 - $250k, FY14 - $510k, FY15 - $520k, FY16 - $420k

Determine what populations of marine mammals are exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Establish the baseline behavior (foraging, dive patterns, etc.) of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Evaluate behavioral responses by marine mammals exposed to Navy training and testing activities

Field work ongoing

Technical progress reports available - 2013-2016
Title: Haul-Out Counts and Photo-Identification of Pinnipeds in Narragansett Bay, RI

Location: Narragansett Bay

Objectives: Document seasonal occurrence, habitat use, and haul-out patterns of seals

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID

Performing Organizations: NUWC Newport

Timeline: 2014 to 2017

Funding: Funding: FY15 $45K; FY16 $102K

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur

Evaluate trends in distribution and abundance of populations that are regularly exposed to sonar and underwater explosives

New start winter 2014-15

2014-2016 field season report available
Title: Bottlenose Dolphin Occurrence in Estuarine and Coastal Waters near Panama City, Florida

Location: St. Andrew Bay and nearshore waters of Panama City, Florida

Objectives: Determine species occurrence, and distribution, habitat use, and abundance of Tursiops in St. Andrew Bay and coastal waters adjacent to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division.

Methods: Small vessel visual surveys, photo identification, biopsy sampling

Performing Organizations: NOAA Hollings Marine Laboratory

Timeline: 2015-2017

Funding: FY15 - $112K, FY16 - $210k

Determine what species and populations of marine mammals and sea turtles are present in Navy range complexes

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals where Navy training and testing activities occur

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas

Field work complete

2015 technical progress report available
Title: NAS Patuxent River Marine Species Surveys

Location: Chesapeake Bay (NAS Patuxent River)

Objectives: Assess occurrence, seasonality, and abundance of Tursiops in the waters near NAS PAX River

Methods: Aerial surveys, photo ID, passive acoustics

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc, UNC Wilmington

Timeline: 2015-2017

Funding: $675k

Estimate the density of marine mammals and sea turtles in Navy range complexes and in specific training areas

Determine what species and populations of marine mammals and sea turtles are present in Navy range complexes

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals and sea turtles where Navy training and testing activities occur.

Surveys began April 2015

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