Home > Explore Data & Reports > Southeast Deep Coral Initiative: Exploring Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems off the Southeast United States


Wagner, D., P. Etnoyer, M. Nizinski, G.P. Schmahl, E. Hickerson, T. Sterne, and M. Nuttall. 2018. Southeast Deep Coral Initiative: Exploring Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems off the Southeast United States. Oceanography, 31(1 Suppl.):98-99. https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.supplement.01

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In 2016, NOAA launched a four-year initiative to study deep-sea coral ecosystems in waters off the southeast United States. This multidisciplinary effort, known as the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative (SEDCI), is led by a NOAA team from multiple offices and works in collaboration with partners from federal and academic institutions. Funding for SEDCI is provided primarily through NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. SEDCI builds on previous multi-agency collaborations aimed at increasing our understanding of the deep sea. Most recently, CAPSTONE completed a successful study of deep-sea habitats across the Pacific. Modeled after CAPSTONE in many ways, SEDCI’s goals are to collect and provide data to support science-based decision-making and to ensure public access to this information. SEDCI’s priorities were developed in consultation with fishery management councils and national marine sanctuaries, as well as partners from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, US Geological Survey, and academic institutions. Through this collaborative approach, SEDCI strives to collect information needed by agencies that manage deep-sea coral ecosystems. SEDCI fieldwork started in 2016 with expeditions to the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and submarine canyons off North Carolina. Fieldwork continued in 2017, with expeditions that returned to these areas and to additional habitats on the West Florida Slope

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