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: Time-lapse Camera Surveys of Pinnipeds in Southeastern Virginia

Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Eastern Shore

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

Methods: Visual surveys

Performing Organizations: NAVFAC Atlantic, The Nature Conservancy

Timeline: 2019-2022

Funding: FY19 - $15k, FY20 - $18k, FY21 - $11k

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

Data collection ongoing

Title: Mid-Atlantic Offshore Cetacean Study

Location: Offshore Mid-Atlantic shelf and shelf break (VACAPES OPAREA)

Objectives: Assess occurrence, habitat use, and baseline behavior of cetaceans in the offshore and 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: 2016-2022

Funding: FY16 - $645k, FY18 - $322k, FY19 - $357k, FY20 - $371k, FY21 - $430k

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

Continuing

Shifted to sperm whale feeding ecology focus in 2020
Title: Haul-Out Counts and Photo-Identification of Pinnipeds in Virginia

Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore of Virginia

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

Methods: Visual surveys, photo ID

Performing Organizations: NAVFAC Atlantic, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries,The Nature Conservancy, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2014-2022

Funding: Funding: FY15 - $52K, FY16 - $36K, FY17 - $7K, FY18 - $29K, FY19 - $62K, FY20 - $60K, FY21 - $39K

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

Fieldwork ongoing

Title: Behavioral Response of Humpback Whales to Vessel Traffic

Location: Chesapeake Bay and Nearshore Mid-Atlantic

Objectives: Understand the behavioral response of humpback whales to approaching vessels in the shipping channels at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

Methods: Dtagging, satellite tagging, and focal follow observational methods

Performing Organizations: Duke University, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2019-2022

Funding: FY19 - $95k, FY20 - $75k, FY21 - $80k

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

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

Ongoing

Final field season planned for winter 2022
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, University of St. Andrews, Bridger Associates, Calvin College, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2017-2022

Funding: FY16 - $35k, FY17 - $1.6M, FY18 - $1.4M, FY19 - 1.4M, FY20 - $1.3M, FY21 - $1.25M

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

Continuing

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: 2007-2022

Funding:

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

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

Final deployment in 2021
Title: Jacksonville Vessel Surveys and Tagging

Location: Jacksonville Shallow Water Training Range (JSWTR)

Objectives: Monitor species composition and distribution on JSWTR, support M3R species verifications,

Methods: Vessel visual surveys, biopsy sampling, satellite-linked tags, photo-ID

Performing Organizations: Duke University, HDR Inc.

Timeline: 2016-

Funding: FY16 - $100K, FY17 - $105K, FY18 - $360K, FY19 - $60k, FY21 - $125K

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

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 Navy training and testing activities

Continuing

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: 2015-2022

Funding: FY14 - $320k, FY15 - $260k, FY16 - $370k, FY17 - $325k, FY19 - $248k, FY20 - $257k, FY21 - $320k

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

Continuing

RSS Icon