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NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Launches Updated Website

January 23, 2023

The upgraded platform showcases exciting discoveries, extensive partnerships, and other resources.

Several vibrantly colored animals, including a pink mushroom coral (center), precious pink coral (right), a green-hues bamboo coral (left), and feather stars (center) on a dark rocky outcrop Several vibrantly colored animals, including a mushroom coral (center), precious pink coral (right), bamboo coral (left), and feather stars (center) near Jarvis Island in the U.S. Pacific Islands. Credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration

NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program is the only federal program dedicated to understanding deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems. The Program has just launched a revamped website to help share information and data about exciting deep-sea coral expeditions and discoveries. The new website features a sleeker layout and more user-friendly navigation options.

A close-up of a bright purple branching coral
Scientists observed this unusual purple deep-sea coral during an expedition in U.S. Northeast waters. During the dive, the expedition team also saw at least five species of black corals, a bamboo coral, and two other species of soft coral. Credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration

One notable update highlights major research initiatives. As a critical part of its work, the Program operates 3- to 4-year research initiatives that rotate through each region. These initiatives greatly improve our knowledge of deep-sea corals and the ecosystems they support. Website users can read brief summaries of the research conducted under the initiatives to better understand the Program’s work and impact and explore detailed initiative descriptions for each region. 

The website now features a more streamlined and intuitive publication database with expanded search capabilities. Users can find peer-reviewed journal articles, expedition reports, NOAA technical memoranda, and other publications resulting from Program-supported work. The website also highlights deep-sea coral and sponge conservation articles, staff and student alumni profiles, and an education and outreach section.

The Program will continue to add more resources and functionality to the website. In the coming months, our partners at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information will relaunch an upgraded version of the Program’s mapping and data access portal. The portal hosts a national database of deep-sea coral and sponge observations. It provides map-based query, visualization, and downloads of the database. It will also serve as a hub for data dashboards, StoryMaps, map layers, data downloads, model outputs, and more.

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer surveys a large boulder covered in bamboo corals during the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition
Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer hovers above several large boulders covered in bamboo corals during a dive on a seamount within the New England Seamount Chain. The seamount chain lies within the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, where deep-sea coral habitat protections were reinstated in 2021. Credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration

The relaunched website can still be found at http://deepseacoraldata.noaa.gov. Please direct feedback and questions about the new site to deepseacoraldata@noaa.gov.

The Program improves our understanding of deep-sea coral communities, supports management decisions, and leverages joint priorities with different partners through innovative, science based research. They work with partners both within NOAA and externally to provide data and information needed by managers to conserve and manage valuable deep-sea coral and sponge habitats.

Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on January 26, 2023