Habitat Science

Habitat science is the study of relationships among species and their environment. Habitat science and assessments provide essential scientific advice to resource managers on the current status and future trends of marine habitats utilized by living marine resources. Habitat information is needed for habitat management and restoration, stock assessments, ecosystem-based management, and in almost every other NOAA and NOAA Fisheries program.

There are ever-increasing demands being placed on marine habitats across many sectors of the U.S. economy, but the role of marine habitats in supporting fishery production and in providing other critical ecosystem services is not always well known. We need to continue to improve our knowledge about the relationships between marine species and their habitats to best manage our living marine resources, achieve sustainable fisheries, and meet the mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and other important habitat-related legislation.


  • National coordination of NOAA Fisheries' habitat science and research activities
  • Coordination between habitat science and habitat conservation and management activities
  • Implementation of the Marine Fisheries Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan
  • Development of budget initiatives to improve NOAA Fisheries' habitat assessment capability