Marine Protected Areas Group at the Panama City Laboratory
The Marine Protected Areas Group at the NOAA Fisheries Panama City Laboratory is responsible for conducting fishery and habitat research on designated and proposed marine protected areas (MPAs) in the southeastern United States. The major project areas are:
We also conduct annual surveys for juvenile reef fish in local seagrass nursery areas and provide support for other projects at the Panama City Laboratory.
Map of 5 major project areas are shown. The West Florida Shelf MPAs are located off the west coast of Florida along the 100 m isobath. Pulley Ridge HAPC is located off the southwest coast of Florida along the 60 - 70 m isobaths. The Oculina HAPC is off the east coast of Florida at depths of 70-100 m. The South Atlantic MPAs extend from North Carolina to the southern tip of Florida at depths of 50-250 m. The Deep-Sea Coral HAPC also extends from North Carolina to the southern tip of Florida but is located in deeper waters of 200 - 600 m.