US Navy

divider

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: Deep Diving Odontocete Behavior and Spatial Use

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: 2013-2016

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 - 2013-2015
Title: Baseline Monitoring for Marine Mammals in the East Coast Range Complexes (passive acoustics)

Location: Atlantic OPAREAs

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

Methods: Passive acoustic monitoring

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Timeline: Ongoing

Funding: FY13 - $780k, FY14 - $800k, FY15 - $680k, FY16 - $596k

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

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

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

Ongoing

Title: Tagging and Tracking of Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in Florida Waters

Location: Jacksonville Range Complex

Objectives: Assess behavior of right whales in coastal waters off Florida including rates of travel of individual whales, dive behavior, and rates of sound production.

Methods: Observational methods combined with short term (ca. 24 hour) non-invasive suction cup attached multi-sensor acoustic recording tags with fastloc GPS.

Performing Organizations: Duke University, Syracuse University

Timeline: Ongoing since 2014

Funding: FY13 - $335K, FY14 - $390K, FY15 - $505k, FY16 - $390k

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

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

First field season - February 2014

2014-2016 field summaries available
Title: VACAPES Continental Shelf Break Cetacean Study

Location: Offshore Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of cetaceans in continental shelf break region of the VACAPES OPAREA

Methods: Visual surveys, focal follow observational methods, photo ID, biopsy sampling, satellite tagging

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc

Timeline: 2015-2018

Funding: FY16 - $645k

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

New start (FY16)

Transition from offshore component of humpack whale monitoring project
Title: Autonomous Real-Time Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Baleen Whales for Mitigating Interactions with Naval Activities

Location: Gulf of Maine

Objectives: Demonstrate near real-time passive acoustic detection and classification hardware/software systems

Methods: PAM from autonomous platforms

Performing Organizations: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, NOAA NEFSC, NAVFAC Atlantic

Timeline: 2015-2017

Funding: Joint funding - LMR & ESTCP

Development and validation of techniques and tools for detecting, classifying, and tracking marine mammals

Initial deployments complete

Title: Sound source measurements from pile driving

Location: Naval installations along the US East Coast

Objectives: Determine the source levels produced by impact and vibratory driving of different size and material piles during construction projects

Methods: Source measurements and acoustic propogation modelling

Performing Organizations: HDR Inc., Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc

Timeline: 2012 - 2016

Funding: FY12 - $450K

Collect data to support impact and effects analyses (e.g. sound source measurements and propagation modelling)

Data collection complete

Final report in preparation
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 reports available November 2016
Title: Passive Acoustic Monitoring for North Atlantic Right Whales off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Location: Cherry Point Range Complex

Objectives: Investigate the timing of right whale migration through the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the relative distance from shore and acoustic behavior of migrating whales

Methods: Passive acoustic monitoring using a linear array of marine autonomous recording units (MARUs)

Performing Organizations: Duke University, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Timeline: 2013-2016

Funding: (Collaborative) Navy - FY13 - $35K, FY14 - $30K, FY15 - $35k

Establish the baseline habitat uses and movement patterns of marine mammals 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 complete

2014 & 2015 technical progress reports available
RSS Icon