Two divers in a fishery net.

Fisheries and Aquaculture

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for fisheries research and management include sea surface temperature, sea surface winds, ocean color and sea surface height.

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A red algae bloom

Water Quality

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for water quality monitoring and forecasting include ocean color, sea surface temperature, synthetic aperture radar and true color.

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A coastal reef with a sea lion.

Ecosystem Monitoring

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for ecosystem monitoring include sea surface temperature, ocean color, sea surface salinity and sea surface height.

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Satellite photo.

Ocean and Coastal Dynamics

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for analysis of ocean and coastal dynamics include sea surface temperature, sea surface winds, ocean color, ocean currents and sea surface height.

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A very large cargo ship traveling down a river.

Transportation and Safety

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for marine transportation and safety include sea surface winds, sea surface roughness and sea surface height.

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Satellite photo of the Gulf of Mexico.

Climate and Weather

CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for monitoring and forecasting climate and weather include sea surface temperature, ocean color, sea surface winds, sea surface height and sea surface roughness.

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NOAA researchers review approaches to satellite-derived coastal water quality products


  In a paper published in 2017 in Progress in Oceanography, coauthors Guanming Zheng and Paul M. DiGiacomo reviewed approaches to deriving water quality products from satellite ocean color data.  They quantify and discuss the inherent uncertainties surrounding the characterization of water quality parameters of interest in coastal waters ...


Booklet: Advanced techniques for monitoring water quality using Earth Observation


  AquaWatch, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Water Quality Initiative, presents information about water quality issues and monitoring in a variety of habitats and exemplars of water quality monitoring using archived and next generation Earth Observation data using technologies developed and exploited by researchers within the AquaWatch community.


Colors and Confusion: Making Better Color Choices for Data Visualization

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  Communication of scientific information and data to the public is part of NOAA’s mission, and scientific visualization is often the public’s first encounter with the agency’s data. This post gives an overview of recent advances and considerations for selecting and improving color selection for remote sensing data. NOAA CoastWatch will be experimenting with different colors for its data presentations.


Monitoring Sea Surface Winds and Sea Ice with Satellite Radar

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  Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is an active radar satellite instrument that transmits microwave pulses that bounce off the Earth’s surface. The radar signals are then processed into imagery that can be used to derive several geographic and non-geographic features including: wind speeds, oil spills, sea ice and ship detection.

Saharan Dust and its Impacts


  Winds blowing across the Sahara Desert send large clouds of dust that travel thousands of miles to the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. The growth of phytoplankton, microscopic plants at the base of the ocean food chain, is restricted by iron availability.  When Saharan dust is blown into the ocean, phytoplankton use the iron and nutrients from the dust and begin to grow and reproduce.


Great Lakes Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook


  U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes agencies work together to document significant quarterly events, seasonal and yearly changes for the Great Lakes region and compile them into quarterly reports. NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch data used in these bulletins includes Sea Surface TemperatureSynthetic Aperture Radar and real time marine data from buoys, coastal met stations, airports, and ships.

EcoCast: A tool to help fishers minimize bycatch off the US West Coast

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  The EcoCast tool uses habitat suitability models and satellite-derived environmental data to predict where broadbill swoardfish and three bycatch species (leatherback turtle, blue shark and California sea lion) are likely to be each day. Daily EcoCast maps help fishers identify fishing spots minimize fisheries bycatch and maximize fisheries target catch.


Identifying Climate-Driven Shifts in Jumbo Flying Squid Fishing Grounds


  The jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known as the Humbolt squid, is an economically important fisheries species in the Eastern Pacific, currently accounting for approximately one third of the world's squid landings. Sea surface temperature and sea surface height data from NOAA OceanWatch Central Pacific node was used to research movements of their fishing ground. 


Improving Satellite Sea Surface Temperature Analysis


  Information about sea surface temperature is important for weather and ocean forecasting, climate monitoring, military and defense operations, ecosystem assessment, fisheries analyses and tourism operations. NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature Team is working to improve their products by reanalyzing past data with NOAA's Advanced Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO) using the enterprise algorithm. 


The Tongue of the Ocean


  The Tongue of the Ocean is a deep water basin in the Bahamas that is surrounded to the east, west and south by a carbonate bank known as the Great Bahama Bank. The deep blue water of the Tongue is a stark contrast to the shallow turquoise waters of the surrounding Bank.

Ocean acidification in the Caribbean


  In collaboration with the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division and NOAA Coral Reef Watch, the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico node of CoastWatch produces an ocean acidification product suite for the greater Caribbean region to track changes in the surface ocean that can be used as an important tool in coral reef research and management.


TurtleWatch: A Tool for Reducing Loggerhead Turtle Bycatch


  Fisheries bycatch has been implicated as a contributing factor in the population decline of endangered Pacific loggerhead turtles. In order to reduce interactions between longline fishing vessels based in Hawaii and loggerhead sea turtles, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center created an experimental information product called TurtleWatch.


The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current


  The Gulf of Mexico loop current brings warm Caribbean water northward between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba and into the Gulf. The current loops around the Gulf, flows southeastward into the Florida Strait where it serves as a parent to the Florida current and ultimately joins the Gulf Stream.