Regional Ecological Assessments



NCCOS scientists on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster retrieve a water-column profiler and Niskin bottle water sampling rosette

The NCCOS Regional Ecological Assessments (REA) website provides access to data contained in the Coastal Ecology Database, which were collected as part of a series of Regional Ecological Assessments conducted by NCCOS and partners throughout various estuarine, coastal, and continental shelf areas of the U.S.

NCCOS works in partnership with state, academic, and other federal agencies in performing a broad range of research and monitoring activities to assess the status and potential effects of human activities on the health of coastal ecosystems and to promote the use of this information in protecting and restoring the Nation’s coastal resources. An important objective of NCCOS is to produce baseline assessments of coastal ecosystem conditions for decision-makers to evaluate their coastal management efforts and policies.

Key to accomplishing this objective is to obtain spatial and temporal data on ecologically important habitats, species, and processes in biologically important marine and coastal areas.

NCCOS has conducted a series of Regional Ecological Assessments aimed at evaluating condition of living resources and ecosystem stressors in estuarine and coastal areas including National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS), and continental shelf regions of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, South-Atlantic Bight, Florida Shelf, and Gulf of Mexico. Information from these studies provides a means to assess the current status of ecological condition and stressor impacts throughout these areas, and serves as a baseline for evaluating future changes due to natural or human-induced disturbances.

The data collected through these Regional Ecological Assessments are stored in the Coastal Ecology Database. This website provides access to these data through a simple, map-based interface organized by geographic region, with query results returned by individual assessment study and data type (e.g., water, sediment, biological, tissue). The results of data queries can be downloaded as Microsoft Excel (.xls) files or as comma-separated value (.csv) text files. A map of sampling-site locations associated with each study is also provided with the results of each query.