Search

Stay Connected

NOAA Research News

New NOAA, partner buoy in American Samoa opens window into a changing ocean
Monica Allen

New NOAA, partner buoy in American Samoa opens window into a changing ocean

NOAA and partners have launched a new buoy in Fagatele Bay within NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the waters around a vibrant tropical coral reef ecosystem.

Tracking ocean change

Tracking ocean change

NOAA and partners launched a new buoy in Fagatele Bay to monitor changes in ocean chemistry, including carbon dioxide, which can affect the rich coral reefs and marine species of the bay. Credit: Nerelle Que/ National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

“This new monitoring effort in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean will not only advance our understanding of changing ocean chemistry in this valuable and vibrant coral ecosystem but will also help us communicate these changes to diverse stakeholders in the Pacific Islands and across the United States,” said Derek Manzello, coral ecologist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

Fagatele Bay is home to more than 160 species of coral, as well as giant clams, fish, dolphins, and the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle. Coral reefs and shellfish are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of increasing carbon dioxide in our ocean. As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the acidity of seawater increases. This is known as ocean acidification, which can threaten the ability of shellfish and corals to build their skeletons, hamper new coral growth and accelerate reef erosion. The loss of coral reefs impacts local economies, affecting the health of fisheries and tourism and exposing coastal communities to increased storm surge.

Buoy data will inform ocean management

“The deployment of this buoy complements existing monitoring efforts in Fagatele Bay, and the data will be beneficial for all ocean management partners in the Territory,” said Atuatasi Lelei-Peau, Acting Superintendent of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, “It was great to see the local resource management agencies come together to support this important project.”

Through an array of moored carbon dioxide buoys near our nation’s coral reefs, NOAA is working to improve our understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification on reefs and the species that depend on them. Each buoy collects data on carbon dioxide from surface seawater and the atmosphere as well as data on water temperature, salinity, pH, oxygen, and chlorophyll. A team of scientists also conduct long-term monitoring of the surrounding coral reef ecosystem.

Fagatele Bay coral reef

Fagatele Bay coral reef

Fagatele Bay is home to more than 160 species of coral as well as other marine species. Coral reefs and shellfish are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of increasing carbon dioxide in our ocean. Credit: National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

“Each buoy is unique based on the location and partners involved,” said Adrienne Sutton, oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab who oversees NOAA’s ocean acidification mooring network. “It takes a whole village to create and manage an ocean acidification observing site like this.”

The Fagatele Bay buoy is modeled on the ocean acidification monitoring station in Kāneʻohe Bay,  Hawai‘i, which combines automatic environmental monitoring with applied science by government, cultural, academic, and citizen scientists. By deploying an ocean acidification monitoring buoy in the sanctuary, researchers are able to leverage existing monitoring and research programs to better understand the impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems.

All data can be viewed online on PMEL and Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) websites and is available to other researchers and the public. Partners in the project include PacIOOS, the National Park of American Samoa, Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources of American Samoa, the Coral Reef Advisory Group of American Samoa, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

For more information, please contact Monica Allen, director of public affairs at NOAA Research, at 301-734-1123 or by email at monica.allen@noaa.gov

Previous Article Former NOAA employee Christina Koch greets NOAA from the International Space Station
Next Article Rising emissions drive greenhouse gas index increase
Print
5094

x

Popular Research News

A Message from Craig McLean: Hurricane Dorian and Exceptional Service

A Message from Craig McLean: Hurricane Dorian and Exceptional Service Read more

NOAA Research Assistant Administrator Craig McLean's message to colleagues, dated Monday, September 9th, regarding Hurricane Dorian and its wide-ranging impacts

A Year Locked in Ice

A Year Locked in Ice Read more

An expedition to the central Arctic will give scientists the first opportunity to study the dramatic changes sweeping across the top of the world for an entire year. 

New NOAA app brings earth and space animations to your phone

New NOAA app brings earth and space animations to your phone Read more

NOAA's SOS Explorer Mobile, an app for personal mobile devices, tells earth science stories by playing visually stunning movies on a virtual globe.

Airborne research shows East Coast cities emitting twice as much methane as estimated

Airborne research shows East Coast cities emitting twice as much methane as estimated Read more

A new NOAA and University of Michigan study using an instrumented airplane has found unexpectedly large emissions over five major cities along the East Coast - twice the total amount of methane and almost 10 times the amount estimated from natural gas.

NOAA is developing underwater robots to map, measure toxicity of Great Lakes algal blooms

NOAA is developing underwater robots to map, measure toxicity of Great Lakes algal blooms Read more

Two underwater robots will be gliding throughout the western Lake Erie basin this week, as NOAA and its partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) test technology to autonomously monitor and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

RSS
«October 2019»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789

OAR HEADQUARTERS

Phone: 301-713-2458
Address: 1315 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910

Stay Connected

ABOUT US

Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

CONTACT US

Can't Find What You Need?
Send Feedback
Copyright 2018 by NOAA Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top