The main focus for the CIOERT Mesophotic Coral Reefs Ecosystem Program is the Southeast Shelf-Edge MPAs. These Marine Protected areas are located along the southeastern coast of the US from North Carolina to the Straights of Florida. The multi-year collaboration between the CIOERT and NOAA Fisheries, Panama City Lab, started in 2012 and will be continued until at least the summer of 2020.
This program surveys inside and outside the Marine Protected Areas to assess their health, usefulness, success and changes over time. We utilize the University of North Carolina’s Undersea Vehicles Program’s Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).