Emerging  technology will allow scientists to better understand abundance and diversity of aquatic species.

Today, scientists are uncovering the story of these ecosystems by studying biomolecules—such as DNA, RNA, and proteins—that reveal the biological foundations of these ecosystems. Using new tools and techniques adapted from the fields of forensics and genetics, scientists can now obtain richly detailed primary signatures of aquatic life just by collecting samples of water.

The National Aquatic eDNA Strategy lays out a plan to harness the power of eDNA to explore, map, monitor, and better understand aquatic life in order to sustain and restore biological resources now and in the future,” said Kelly Goodwin, the NOAA co-chair of eDNA Task Team of the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Working Group on Biodiversity.