FL Shelf Habitat Mapping

Dates 2005-10-01 to 2008-09-30
Description The objectives of the FLaSH Map study are multifold but follow the goals set for the Coastal and Marine Geology National Benthic Habitat Studies in general. These goals include:1) Mapping and characterizing benthic habitats at appropriate scales and resolutions,2) Understanding geologic processes and environmental and human-induced change,3) Developing a sea floor and habitat classification,4) Extrapolating results from regional to national settings,5) Developing prediction and modeling capabilities,6) Publishing results as maps and reports; disseminating information through web sites; and managing data effectively,7) Providing information and advice to management agencies,8) Facilitating intra- and interagency and international collaboration on benthic habitat research.Our discussions and collaborations with NOAA (SW NMFS,NOS), Florida Wildlife Commission, State of Florida Department of Protection, University of South Florida and other university groups will facilitate the accomplishment of the goals.Tasks briefly summarized:Task 1: Coordination of the project: Dialog amongst our partners, cooperators, and others will be initiated to help coordinate and synthesize any ongoing scientific mapping studies that are occurring on the shelf and will determine major areas of gaps to focus USGS mapping resources. This objective will be met by holding multiple meetings with NOAA, Florida DEP, and FWRI to discuss their needs and potential coordination of similar projects. The PI has been appointed by Fish and Wildlife Commission to the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council to, among other tasks, prepare an Annual Science Research Plan for FY 2006-2007, based on agency needs. In the second year, we will co-sponsor a workshop that outlines the major scientific shelf studies ongoing and to provide information on the mapping studies that have already occurred and those planned for the future, based on the Annual Science Research Plan. The results of the workshop, published in a white paper, will allow the USGS to plan effectively and focus efforts in areas of greatest needs while coordinating more successfully with partners. Furthermore, we will work with FWRI in their creation of a data compilation which contains all of the data sets available for the West Florida Shelf. Similar efforts can be initiated for the Florida East coast shelf, depending on State priorities.Task 2: Our second objective of the FLaSH Map will be to produce a suite of comprehensive bathymetric maps that will be the basis for creation of priority biohabitat maps on the shelf. The resolution of the maps will be determined by resource managers and decision makers. As such, 1) a small pilot study on the west Florida shelf will be initiated the first year to coordinate capabilities with State of Florida agencies, and to begin delineating major biohabitats and significant resources associated with the shelf, 2) A comprehensive bathymetric layer for the Florida Shelf will be developed from existing USGS and NOAA data; 3)Bottom characterization will be derived from existing data (such as US Seabed and other databases) as maps of mud/sand /shell and rock, vegetation, video imagery; 4) A Roughness Index map and other derived characteristics for the shelf will be created to be utilized in fisheries and resource models. Task 3:East Florida Shelf research will be defined during the workshop described in Task 1.Task 4: This task will facilitate the coordinated efforts of data collection, data access, availability and visualization. A website will be created to disseminate information from the project. USGS resources will be combined into the on-going efforts of the State in compiling a Bioregions database that will be utilized to recognize data gaps.
Status Inactive
Center USGS, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center