TDI-Brooks Delivers Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II Report to BOEM

(Image credit: TDI-Brooks)
TDI-Brooks’ report that was issued by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), titled “Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon and Seep Communities”, has been accepted by BOEM, after additional editing, and is available online.

This report was the final deliverable of the BOEM Contract called Deep SEARCH, conducted in partnership with the US Geological Survey. Initially, the study was a five-year, collaborative scientific research program focused on the outer continental shelf between Virginia and Georgia. The COVID crisis extended the program for another 18+ months. They surveyed the region’s deep-sea coral, cold-seep, and canyon communities as habitats of focus. Their overarching goal was to improve understanding of the functional role of these three habitat types in order to advance scientific knowledge and inform future management decisions. The intended application of the new science was to develop better predictive capacities for the community types encountered.

The sites were studied during five directly supported cruises, with detailed site descriptions of the geological, physical, chemical, and biological conditions encountered. The results from six additional cruises conducted through collaboration with the ADEON project and NOAA-OER also contributed to the Deep SEARCH database. The research results, analyses, and findings include the oceanographic, geological, and geochemical setting of canyons, seeps, and coral environments, deep-sea soundscapes, community structure and trophic function from microbes to fishes, population connectivity, life history of selected species, habitat suitability modeling deep-sea corals and seeps and educational outreach to the public.

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