US Navy

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Marine Species Monitoring

Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS)

Introduction & Objectives

The Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS) is a comprehensive multi-agency research program in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to the Florida Keys. Its aims are to assess the abundance, distribution, ecology, and behavior of marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds throughout the U.S. Atlantic and to place them in an ecosystem context. This information can then provide spatially explicit information in a format that can be used when making marine resource management decisions and will provide enhanced data to managers and other users by addressing data gaps that are needed to support conservation initiatives mandated under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Technical Approach

This program is a collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service focused on developing models and tools to provide seasonal abundance estimates that incorporate environmental habitat characteristics for marine mammals, turtles, and seabirds in the western North Atlantic Ocean. These models rely on seasonal distribution and abundance data collected over multiple years using aerial and shipboard surveys. They also include dive pattern information from individually-tagged turtles and detections from passive acoustic recording devices.