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National Deep-Sea Coral Data and GIS Management

Project Goal

To locate, map, and characterize deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems within the U.S Exclusive Economic Zone.

Geographic Location

National

Approach

All available information on the location of deep-sea coral ecosystems are being collected and integrated into a central database. The coral location data is being used to produce maps and conduct spatial analysis and predictive modeling to inform potential management actions. In addition, approaches and tools are being developed to enable the analysis of human activities which could potentially affect deep-sea coral ecosystems, and locate potential interactions between human activities and deep sea corals. Having a central resource for data and data management allows for maintaining coordination and consistency for GIS and data management matters associated with field activities in the Southeast Atlantic and West Coast regions, and across the national program.

Results

The national database was updated for the Northeast and West Coast regions. Standard procedures were developed to ensure that information from field surveys was produced in a consistent manner and compatible with the national database.

Importance to Management

The national database is being used to evaluate areas for potential management actions.

Fiscal Years 2009-2011 Funding

$450,000

Point of Contact

Dan Dorfman, Dan.Dorfman@noaa.gov