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Lionfish found near Lee Stocking Island. Photo credit: Mark Albins, University of Oregon StateLionfish invasion: super predator threatens Caribbean coral reefs
Indo-Pacific lionfish are rapidly invading the waters of the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Due to their population explosion and aggressive behavior, lionfish have the potential to become the most disastrous marine invasion in history by drastically reducing the abundance of coral reef fishes and leaving behind a devastated ecosystem.
researchers have a close encounter with a whaleSonar reveals how herring respond to predators
NOAA's Undersea Research Program teamed up with other research organizations to study how predators affect herring abundance in Alaska. Understanding how predation affects a commercially and ecologically important species in coastal communities throughout Alaska is critical for developing ecosystem-based management approaches for herring populations.
burning gas hydrateUnlocking the secrets of gas hydrates: bringing the laboratory undersea
In an effort to better understand gas hydrates and their makeup, scientists and engineers from the Center for Hydrate Research at the Colorado School of Mines and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have for the first time obtained data from a Raman spectrometer deployed in the deep sea.
waterfront view of the KBL facilities
NOAA's Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, a natural lab for marine research & education

The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory (KBL) is a unique partnership between NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), through the National Undersea Research Program (NURP).
"Eel City" swarms with foot-long Dysommina rugosa at Vailulu'u SeamountWitnessing the birth of an undersea mountain… and other exciting discoveries!
Much of the South Pacific oceans remains scientifically unexplored. Even less is known about the undersea landscape of this tectonically active zone, and very few deep submergence research missions have occurred due to the limitations imposed by distance from land, water depth and availability of resources. This pioneering undertaking looked at some of the greatest undersea volcanoes and associated ecosystems between Hawai‘i and New Zealand
map of LEO 15 stationsThe Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory – A Key Piece of an Integrated
Observing Network Puzzle

NURP's Mid-Atlantic Bight Center operates a cabled ocean-based Long-Term Ecosystem observatory (LEO-15), which provides real time capabilities for rapid environmental assessment and physical/biological forecasting
Andros Islands - BahamasFrom the Coast to the Coral Reef Crest: Management of Back Reef Systems
The Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC), NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP) Center for the Caribbean, has been at the forefront of research pertaining to the restoration and management of back reef systems.
Map of the Aleutian IslandsVoyage to the Aleutian Islands: Understanding Alaska’s Deep Sea Frontiers
The Aleutian Islands, most of which are part of Alaska, are located 2200 km (1200 nautical miles) west of the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Their waters are home to some of the most productive fisheries in the world; and Dutch Harbor, on Unalaska Island, is currently the largest fishing port in the U.S.
orange snapperHawaiian bottomfish play hide and seek in ancient reefs
These fish typically live in deep water (i.e., 250 to 1000+ feet) and cannot be studied "in situ" using snorkel or SCUBA gear. Thus, to investigate these fish and their habitats, we have used the Pisces' submersibles to visit twenty-two different sites since 1998.
anglefish and oculina coral A Particular Concern: Protecting Deep-Sea Corals
Twenty miles off the coast of Florida, stretching from Daytona Beach down to Ft. Pierce, close to the edge of the continental shelf, deep-water coral reefs of Oculina varicosa, or the ivory tree coral, lie 150 to 300 feet beneath the water’s surface.
SCUBA diver at Aquarius viewportGoing Deep to Reach the Heavens
John F. Kennedy referred to space as the "new ocean." Today, NOAA and NASA are underscoring the similarities of these two frontiers. NASA and NOAA share much in common –most particularly the environments in which they operate.
Alvin submersibleVirtually There
The National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology and NOAA’s Undersea Research Program team up to answer some profoundly deep questions.
Deepsea CrabScience Unfolds the Mystery of Gas Hydrates
Gulf of Mexico - NOAA's Undersea Research Program supports an interdisciplinary array of experts in researching gas hydrate ecosystems and their extraordinary potential as a source of bio-products.
Students at SeaAn Ocean View
Connecticut - NOAA helps students from the American School for the Deaf take a visual approach in teaching others about the sea. The Classroom of the Sea program is conducted by NURP's National Undersea Research Center (NURC) for the North Atlantic and Great Lakes located at the University of Connecticut.
LEO-15Continuous Observation of marine plankton
New Jersey- LEO-15 Observatory has become a major resource for coastal research and has also provided important public and educational outreach to an increasingly large community.
ROV deploymentThunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Michigan - NOAA Partnership Conducts Live Webcast from The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, a sanctuary dedicated to the understanding and preservation of submerged cultural resources lying on the floor of Lake Huron.
SCUBA diversTechnical Dive Training for Scientists at CMRC Gets Underway
Caribbean - Marine scientists at the NOAA's Undersea Research Program's (NURP) Center for the Caribbean, the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC), are using the latest technical diving technology to explore deep tropical reefs and caves in the Bahamas to depths as great as 90 meters (300 feet)
GrouperStudying the Potential Impacts of Bottomfishing
A team of researchers led by NOAA's Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) and the National Marine Fisheries Service Honolulu Laboratory (NMFS-HL) used the Pisces submersible to study the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem.
Sensor deploymentMapping Sea Floor Fish Habitats
Big Creek Ecological Reserve, CA - Using laser line scan imaging to better understand the range of habitats and ecosystems on the seafloor.
Nassau GrouperStudying the Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregations
The Bahamas - The key to rebuilding and conserving this important fishery resource.
LobsterWhy Can We Still Fish for American Lobsters?
Maine - The search for the broodstock lobsters that fuel recruitment patterns along the coast of Maine.
Cold Seep Biological CommunityThe Edge of the Gulf
Deep sea expedition to the Gulf of Mexico
LoihiLoihi - A Submarine Volcano
Hawaii - A unique, natural extremophile laboratory
coralsProtecting Fisheries
Caribbean - Marine reserve research
Sea anemonesFishing Gear Impacts
Maine - Studying the fish biodiversity of the deep waters
Impacts of Ocean Dumping
On deep-sea biodiversity
young explorersYoung Explorers Go to Extremes
Florida Keys - A real and virtual exploration of sea and space
Gray whaleThis Whale's (After) Life
Santa Cruz Basin - Whale falls are biological stepping stones
OctopusIn the Octopus's Garden
Prince William Sound - In search of the Giant Octopus
Arctic scientistsThe Bright Side of Arctic Ice
Chukchi Sea - Researchers discover ice algae fuels ecosystem
Precious coralSaving Precious Corals
Genetic study may help protect precious corals
RockfishThe Way They Move
Monterey Rockfish send a message to researchers at Moss Landing Marine Lab
Cape Hatteras LighthouseFighting the Tide
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Retreats from Rising Sea
AquariusAquarius Dispatch
A writer's view of living beneath the waves
Diver on coral reefCoral Flypapers Hold Promise
Coral reefs are among the most fragile and rapidly disappearing ecosystems
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Updated: February 27, 2009