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DISCOVRE - Diversity, Systematics and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems Project:

The U.S. Geological Survey’s DISCOVRE project brings together a multi-disciplinary team to study the biology, ecology, and connectivity of deep-sea coral environments with the goal of providing the science necessary for their effective conservation and management.


Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2012 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM

This 5-year multidisciplinary research program will investigate hard bottom habitats, shipwrecks, and submarine canyons on the continental margin of the eastern United States off Virginia and Maryland. Investigators will examine the biological, chemical and physical oceanography in these areas to help understand the community structure, connectivity and trophodynamics of deep-sea ecosystems in submarine canyons.

Research THEMES

By design, the USGS DISCOVRE project is integrated with larger regional efforts involving the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and academic institutions.

Media Inquiries: Amanda Demopoulos, (352) 264-3490,

News & Events

Cerianthid anemones, also known as tube anemones, are not true anemones. They live in a tube they build using mucus, surrounding mud, and thread-like structures produced by its cells. Credit: NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGSPathways to the Abyss

A new video by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management includes highlights of some of the contributions of U.S. Geological Survey scientists during a five-year study of two deep mid-Atlantic canyons located 100 miles offshore of Virginia and Maryland. arrow iconUSGS Science Features - Top Story

  • Enhanced understanding of ectoparasite-host trophic linkages on coral reefs through stable isotope analysis. [Journal Abstract]

  • Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [Journal Abstract]

  • Cultured fungal associates from the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. [Journal Abstract]

  • Megafaunal-habitat associations at a deep-sea coral mound off North Carolina, USA.

  • Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. [Journal Abstact]

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