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Cruise Report: Spring 2006 Survey of Ecological Conditions of the U.S. Middle Atlantic Bight

Author(s): Cooksey, C.


Center Team: Charleston

Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Journal Title: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 55

Date of Publication: 2007

Reference Information: 18 pages

Keywords: Mid-Atlantic Bight; Integrative Assessment

Abstract: A field survey conducted in coastal-ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic Bight from Nags Head, North Carolina to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and from approximately 1 nautical mile (nm) of shore seaward to the shelf break (100 m). The survey was conducted May 12 - May 21, 2006 on NOAA Ship NANCY FOSTER Cruise NF-06-06-NCCOS. Multiple indicators of ecological condition were sampled synoptically at each of 49 stations throughout the region using a random probabilistic sampling design. Samples were collected for the analysis of benthic community structure and composition; concentrations of chemical contaminants (metals, pesticides, PAHs, PCBs, PBDEs) in sediments and target demersal biota; nutrient and chlorophyll levels in the water column; and other basic habitat characteristics such as depth, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, sediment grain size, and organic carbon content. The overall purpose of the survey was to collect data to assess the status of ecological condition in coastal-ocean waters of the region, based on these various indicators, and to provide this information as a baseline for determining how environmental conditions may be changing with time. The results will be of value in helping to broaden our understanding of the status of ecological resources and their controlling factors, including impacts of potential ecosystem stressors, in such strategic coastal areas.


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