FW: Availability of USVI and Puerto Rico Aerial Photography

MOFFITT, HAROLD A. (JSC-DO) harold.a.moffitt1 at jsc.nasa.gov
Fri May 19 17:39:06 EDT 2000

FYI - Forwarded from the Sea Turtle list - please direct all questions to
Mark Monaco (address below)

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Coyne [mailto:mcoyne at SEATURTLE.ORG]
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2000 4:16 PM
Subject: Availability of USVI and Puerto Rico Aerial Photography

Please Distribute


The National Ocean Service's Biogeography Team is leading an investigation
to consistently and comprehensively map the distribution of coral reefs and
other benthic habitats throughout the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


Color aerial photographs were obtained during March and December 1999, and
January 2000 for all of the USVI and Puerto Rico from the shoreline to water
depths of approximately 20 meters (the depth limit of image penetration for
aerial photos).  Many of these photos are now available and can be queried,
viewed, and downloaded on the internet through a searchable archive created
by NOS's Biogeography Program called Image Finder.


These aerial photographs will be used to create a digital map of the marine
resources in the USVI and Puerto Rico including coral reefs, seagrass beds,
mangrove forests, and other important areas for fisheries, tourism, and
other aspects of the coastal economy. The primary product of this effort
will be benthic habitat maps (in a Geographic Information System, GIS)
although a habitat classification manual and a georeferenced mosaic composed
of digital scans of the raw photographs will also be produced. The benthic
maps will be created using visual interpretation of scanned aerial
photographs.  The specific methods used to produce habitat maps will be
documented in a classification manual and provided to the local research and
management communities to allow them to conduct similar habitat assessments
in the future. The georeferenced photo-mosaic, the classification manual,
and GIS coverages of the benthic habitat maps will be provided on compact
disc, via FTP, or downloadable !
from the Biogeography Team's Website.

This project will support many activities including fishery management,
coastal zone management, disaster mitigation (e.g. hurricanes, boat
grounding), and academic and government research of the region's marine
resources. The images provide a valuable spatial database of marine
resources that can be compared to historic and future datasets (via the
classification manual) to evaluate changes in habitat distribution following
hurricanes, boat grounding, coastal development, and other acute and/or long
term alterations to the marine community. The habitat maps are designed to
be compatible with other GIS data layers. For example, habitat maps can be
compared to: the boundaries of marine protected areas and areas of
particular concern to conduct GAP analysis for designation of future marine
reserves, locations of coastal construction in relation to ocean circulation
patterns and sensitive habitats to assist in planing sustainable
development, or a database of habitat affinities o!
f fisheries species to produce maps of fish distribution for developing
essential fish habitat maps in response to the recent amendments to the
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

For questions and comments concerning this project please contact:
Mark Monaco, Ph.D.
NOAA/NOS Biogeography Team Leader
1305 East-West Highway SSMC 4, N/SCI1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x160
Fax 301-713-4384
E-mail: mark.monaco at noaa.gov

> ======================================================================
	Harold Moffitt     
	email: harold.moffitt at jsc.nasa.gov  voice: 281-244-0207  fax:
	NASA websites:   http://spaceflight.nasa.gov
	NASA Space Shuttle Earth Observation Program:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/   http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov    
	U.S. Navy websites:  http://www.nrl.navy.mil
	snail-mail: NASA Johnson Space Center/DO5,  Houston TX 77058    USA
> ======================================================================

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