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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: Mid-Atlantic Humpback Whale Monitoring

Location: Nearshore Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Assess ocurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of humpback whales in the mid-Atlantic region

Methods: Focal follow observational methods, photo ID, biopsy sampling, satellite tagging

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2015-2017 - anticipated 3 field seasons

Funding: FY14 - $320k, FY15 - $260K, FY16 - $370K, FY17 - TBD

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

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

Year 3 field work in progress

Satelite tagging component added 2015/16 field season
Title: NAS Patuxent River Marine Species Surveys

Location: Chesapeake Bay (NAS Patuxent River)

Objectives: Assess occurrence, seasonality, and abundance of Tursiops in the waters new 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

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 transmitter 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
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 2015

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 in progress
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

2014-2016 field season reports available November 2016
Title: Seal Tagging and Tracking in Virginia

Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay (Hampton Roads)

Objectives: Document habitat use, movement and haul-out patterns of seals in the Hampton Roads region of Chesapeake Bay and coastal Atlantic Ocean

Methods: Photo ID, tagging

Performing Organizations: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation

Timeline: 2016-2017

Funding: FY16 - $40k

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

Field work winter 2016-2017

Title: Baseline Monitoring for Marine Mammals in the East Coast Range Complexes (aerial surveys)

Location: Atlantic OPAREAs

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat associations, and density of marine mammals and sea turtles in key areas of Navy range complexes

Methods: Visual surveys (aerial)

Performing Organizations: UNC Wilmington, CREEM - University of St. Andrews

Timeline: Ongoing

Funding: FY13 - $685k, FY14 - $375k, FY15 - $808k, FY16 - $368k

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

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

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

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

Ongoing

Title: Baseline Monitoring for Marine Mammals in the East Coast Range Complexes (vessel surveys)

Location: Atlantic OPAREAs

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat associations, and stock structure of marine mammals and sea turtles in key areas of Navy range complexes

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID, biopsy sampling

Performing Organizations: Duke University

Timeline: Ongoing

Funding: FY13 - $275k, FY14 - $350k, FY15 - $250k, FY16 - $220k

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

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

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

Ongoing

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