Project Page

Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities - Active Management and Protection

Implementing Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; US Department of the Interior


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Habitat Restoration and Enhancement

Targeted Resources

Benthic Zone/Sea Floor

Project Description

Despite the depth at which mesophotic and deep benthic communities (MDBC) occur, human activities threaten the health and resiliency of these communities. This project will advance the protection and management of these communities through development of a framework for management and protection, including monitoring, education, outreach, engagement, and direct threat reduction. Project activities include: -- education and outreach targeting resource users and the public, and engagement of stakeholders and development of socioeconomic analyses to evaluate potential impacts of management or protection actions. -- directly addressing threats to MDBC through management activities such as mooring buoy installations, removal of invasive species such as lionfish, documentation and removal of marine debris and derelict fishing gear, and assessing and remediating risks associated with leaking and abandoned oil and gas infrastructure. This project will be adaptively managed throughout its seven to eight-year timeframe.


Kristopher Benson
(409) 621-1200
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

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