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Southeast Seafloor Mapping

Coordinating Southeast Seafloor Mapping

Seafloor habitats from the upper estuary to the outer continental shelf support living marine resources and ecosystems of the Southeast (SE) US Atlantic which in turn support our coastal community economies through fisheries, ecotourism, and other services. Recent population growth and urbanization of watersheds in this region are increasing pressures on these critically important habitats yet our understanding of these impacts is limited because much of this area is poorly mapped if at all.

In 2014 NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) identified regional seafloor habitat mapping as a focus area to assist with improving our knowledge of data gaps specifically in the Southeast Region (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Atlantic coast of Florida). Coordinating across NOAA offices, other federal agencies, state coastal zone and fisheries management agencies, non-governmental conservation organizations, and academic researchers lead to two workshops hosted by SECART.  Subsequent work has included developing and implementing a prioritization tool to identify key data gaps for mapping seafloor habitats in the region.  Outcomes have identified areas of mutual interest across government agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental conservation organizations and are being used by NOAA to allocate mapping resources in the region.

Prioritizing New Seafloor Mapping Areas

Following the workshops, SECART supported the development and implementation of a prioritization tool to identify key data gaps for seafloor maps and ocean habitats in the region. Learn more about the prioritization tool and results in a one-page Executive Summary.

technical report ( https://doi.org/10.25923/qh2c-hs73offsite link  ) summarizes the participatory mapping exercise and analysis that identified areas of mutual interest across government agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental conservation organizations and are being used by NOAA to allocate mapping resources in the region. Results are also available within an interactive, online map (https://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=04cdd2a68c4f427f893f2042f326dc80offsite link)

Workshops:
Report of the 2016 and 2018 Workshops

Presentations/Webinars:
Prioritizing Areas for Seafloor Mapping off the Southeast U.S.
Christine Buckel, Mariea Bollinger, Chris Taylor, and John McCombs
This presentation from May 2020 (a briefing to the SECART) provides an overview of the seafloor mapping prioritization exercise, analytical methods, preliminary results, and next steps.

Presentation

Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS 101): Make your data work well with others
Mark Finkbeiner, of NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, presented the second of three webinars in this series on 18 May 2017.  The presentation, “Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS 101)” explained the what, why and how of the classification standard.  The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) provides a structure for developing and integrating data across regional and national boundaries, and supports activities such as monitoring, policy development, restoration planning, and fisheries management. 

Presentation

Ping Once Use Many Times! Enhancing the Utility of Office of Coast Survey Mapping Products for Coastal Science and Management
Held on 12 January 2017, “Ping Once Use Many Times! Enhancing the Utility of Office of Coast Survey Mapping Products for Coastal Science and Management,” was the first of a three-part series of webinars to improve seafloor mapping coordination in the southeast United States.

Presented by Starla Robinson, Office of Coast Survey Hydrographic Survey Division, and Chris Taylor, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the webinar highlighted collaboration during the 2016 Field Season to map the continental shelf near Wilmington, North Carolina for navigation safety and habitat analysis for ecosystem management and ocean planning.  

Presentation

Upcoming events:
Prioritization Outcomes Report should be ready Jan or Feb 2021

Contact: 
Chris Taylor: chris.taylor@noaa.gov
Christine Buckel: christine.buckel@noaa.gov