Tropical cyclones frequently affect the offshore and coastal waters of the U.S. The exposure of marine waters to tropical cyclones varies by storm, year, and locality, and winds associated with these storms
Shallow-water coral reefs are more than just pretty places to go snorkeling and scuba diving. These sensitive areas are some of the most biologically rich and economically valuable ecosystems on earth.
Fish require healthy surroundings to survive and reproduce. Essential Fish Habitat includes all types of aquatic habitat—wetlands, coral reefs, seagrasses, rivers—where fish spawn, breed, feed, or grow to maturity.
The ocean is a highway for ship traffic, and highways require rules. Shipping fairways, lanes, and zones keep ships organized by guiding them on established “roads” and indicating the direction the traffic is moving.
Why are old subway cars and army tanks littering our ocean floor? What purpose can these sunken relics serve? Societies have constructed artificial reefs out of obsolete objects or “trash” for thousands of years for everything from blockading pirate ships to benefiting algae farm productivity.
High-frequency radar is an effective tool for measuring the speed and direction of ocean surface currents. The broad range of uses for this information on currents has motivated the development of a national network of surface current mapping systems as part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).
A habitat area of particular concern is a designation that encompasses discrete subsets of essential fish habitat, which provide extremely important ecological functions or are especially vulnerable to degradation.
Wave energy is a form of alternative ocean energy that can be harnessed for consumption. The Ocean Wave Resource Potential data set shows users the predicted mean wave energy density within U.S. waters.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are defined as, “any area of the marine environment that has been reserved by federal, state, territorial, tribal, or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein.”
Lease blocks are used to help the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manage the submerged lands of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Protraction diagrams are boundaries used in delineating the OCS lease blocks.
Wind planning areas are areas where cursory screenings for use conflicts have been completed by facilitating improved coordination among local, state, and federal partners to accelerate the leasing process.