Research opportunities abound at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located in near the juncture of the Warm Temperate Northwest Atlantic Province and the Cold Temperate Northwest Atlantic Province. The fauna is influenced by Gulf Stream waters that carry tropical species from the south, and contains elements of cooler-water faunas that move south of Cape Hatteras and make it down to Gray's Reef. The sanctuary presents a diversity of species and habitats, including diverse reef flora and fauna, soft-bottom benthic infauna, and patch reefs that provide ideal conditions for replicated experiments. The sea conditions (visibility, temperature, waves and currents) are such that many observations and experiments can be conducted using scuba.
Gray's Reef can facilitate research by providing vessels, habitat data, sampling equipment and staff knowledgeable in the habitats, fauna and conditions in the sanctuary. Limited funding may be available to conduct research in the sanctuary to meet the needs of resource protection and management. NOAA is also proposing to establish a no-take research area in Gray's Reef to increase the opportunity to discriminate scientifically between natural and human-induced change to species populations in the sanctuary.
The Science Needs Assessment for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is designed to provide up to date information on the priority management issues facing your national marine sanctuaries
and define the science and information needs necessary to address these issues. Click here to learn more about Gray's Reef Science Needs Assessment.
For additional details on research opportunities at Gray's Reef, Sarah Fangman or call at (912) 598-2428.