Population Connectivity of Deepwater Corals in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Project Overview

Implementing Organization
Lehigh University

DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Funding Program

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 4: NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

Project Location: Pennsylvania

Funding Source: Transocean
Controlling Document: The RESTORE Act
Year Awarded: 2017

Project Details

Project Category

Project Actions

Monitoring and Observations

Targeted Resources

Corals/Coral Reefs

Project Description

Deepwater corals are three-dimensional structures that provide habitat for diverse and abundant invertebrate and fish communities, including refuge and prey for commercially valuable fisheries. As a result, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering designating a number of deepwater coral areas in the northern Gulf of Mexico as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern. In addition, the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) has proposed to expand the boundaries of current protected areas to encompass additional coral sites. The establishment of Marine Protected Areas is one of the key restoration strategies for deep benthic communities impacted by human disturbances. The discoveries made by this project will inform these and other management decisions by determining where the corals in different deepwater populations originated. By using genetic analysis of the different populations to see how closely related they are, the researchers will be able to measure connectivity among them. Using a combination of field sampling, state-of-the-art population genomic analyses and physical oceanographic modeling this project will produce maps of genetically connected corals throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Project Contact

Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

Harvey Mudd College, Georgia Institute of Technology

Project ID: 638
Project Name: Population Connectivity of Deepwater Corals in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
SourceUID: 0
Latitude: 40.63598015
Longitude: -75.37498718
Country: United States of America
State or Province: Pennsylvania
County: Northampton
Project Category: Science
Project Action: Monitoring and Observations
Additional Project Action(s):
Additional Project Action(s):
Targeted Resource(s): Corals / Coral Reefs
Targeted Resource(s):
Targeted Resource(s):
Anticipated Project Completion Year: 2020
Implementing Organization: Lehigh University
Implementing Organization Type: Academic
Point of Contact – Name: Santiago Herrera
Point of Contact – Phone: santiago.herrera@lehigh.edu
Point of Contact – Email: 610-758-3622
Other Partners: NOAA
Affiliated Institutions: Harvey Mudd College, Georgia Institute of Technology
Link: https://restoreactscienceprogram.noaa.gov/funded-projects/deepwater-corals
Project Comments: None
Acres Acquired: 0
Close Year: 0
Close Month: 0
Close day: 0
Purchase Type: None
Landowner: None
Landowner Type: None
Purpose: None
Public Access: None
Easement Holder Name : None
Easement Holder Type: None
Secondary Easement Holder 1: None
Secondary Easement Holder 2: None
Duration: None
Term: 0
Land Restoration Acreage: 0
Aquatic Restoration Acreage: 0
Restoration Mileage: 0
Restoration Feet: 0
Additional Acreage: None
Total Dollar Amount (from all funders): 1338193
DWH Funder: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
DWH Funder Type: Federal
DWH Funding Program: The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 4: NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program
DWH Dollar Amount : 1338193
DWH Source: Transocean
Fund Origin: Civil Settlement
Controlling Documents: The RESTORE Act
Award Year: 2017
Award Month: 6
Total Amount Leveraged: 0