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Restoration Research

Restoration Research
Michigan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put more than a decade’s worth of effort cleaning industrial pollution from the Manistique river. To help certify their success, they enlisted NCCOS to sample several locations for contaminant analysis

Coastal ecosystems are vulnerable to habitat loss from impacts such as boat groundings, extreme wind events, and declining water quality. Habitat restoration offers a way to regain ecosystem services lost as a result of acute or chronic injuries. NCCOS develops and evaluates methods and tools to guide restoration of impacted habitats.

When coral reef or seagrass beds are damaged by boats in NOAA managed areas, the responsible party can be asked to pay for damages. We respond to injuries and refine restoration techniques for coral reef, seagrass, and coastal intertidal habitats. We develop approaches to assess restoration success and habitat recovery, and have established national and international guidelines on conservation and restoration of seagrasses.

Management agencies use NCCOS habitat recovery models and protocols to determine recovery trajectories, claims costs and restoration strategies. NCCOS scientists also deliver expert witness testimony in federal court in support of the Department of Justice and NOAA's General Council.

We also help practitioners develop monitoring programs that can determine if a restoration project is on track and gauge how well a restoration site is functioning. Science-Based Restoration Monitoring of Coastal Habitats provides technical assistance, outlines necessary steps, and provides useful tools for the development and implementation of sound scientific monitoring of coastal restoration efforts.