The ocean floor is not only a habitat, but also performs a number of important ecosystem functions - for example, sediments filter pollutants out of seawater. As such, one of coastal researchers’ goals is to identify indicators for the status of the ocean floor that are sensitive to man-made influences. “With the right indicators, we can draw key conclusions about the state of the ecosystem,” explains Prof. Dr. Kay Emeis, Director of the Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and coordinator of the joint project “North Sea Observation and Assessment of Habitats” (NOAH). NOAH is one of five BMBF-funded joint projects about to be launched.
Members of the joint project NOAH include the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Senckenberg am Meer, as well as academic research groups from the University of Bremen’s Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, the University of Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
The project’s research work will be in line with the declared goals of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, according to which a “good state of our marine environs” is to be achieved by 2020. German’s Federal Ministry of Research has allocated six million euros for the overall project.
To the press release (german)