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Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative: A Regional Collaboration.

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Presentation on theme: "Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative: A Regional Collaboration."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative: A Regional Collaboration

2 How deep is the water? Seafloor Mapping Basics: What are the seafloors characteristics? -topography, geology, biology

3 Direct Depth Measurements Lead line B.C. 1930s A.D.

4 Discrete points Indirect Measurements using Sound1950s Multibeam sonar systems Full coverage 1920s Echo sounder (single beam)

5 Traditional Nautical Charting Lead lines Echo sounders (with supplementary sounding poles and lead line)

6 2001 Charting and Modern Mapping Combined Charting

7 Higher resolution gives greater detail and clarity

8 Suite of Acoustic Techniques to Characterize Seafloor

9 Data Integration

10 Four Main Map Products

11 Benthic Habitat Maps Habitat maps interpret biological and geological data to show types of sediment and animals in a particular area Geological Survey of Canada

12 Applications of Seafloor Mapping Important tools for Managers Scientists Industry (oil & gas, shipping, mining, etc.) Fishermen Other stakeholders

13 US Geological Survey Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Management Success Story: Routing a Fiber-Optic Cable Using seafloor maps, cable was routed through soft sediment

14 Before Mapping Superimposing A.F. Pierces tracks on a seafloor map reveals that the vessel had dragged its fishing gear through mixed habitat: sand, gravel, and rocky outcrops. This image shows some tracks of scallop vessel A.F. Pierce. These tracks were planned using only a traditional nautical chart. Fisheries Success Story

15 After Mapping By using seafloor maps to plan their tracks, scallopers avoided rocky outcrops, reducing damage to fishing gear and bottom habitat. They caught just as many scallops by dragging over only 25% as much area. Savings in towing time and distance led to lower costs for fuel and crew.

16 Gulf of Maine One of the worlds most productive and important ocean systems Bi-national jurisdiction Diverse topography Supports a wide range of human uses

17 Gulf of Maine activities that could benefit from mapping LNG terminals Electric power cables Offshore wind farms Sand and gravel mining Petroleum exploration and production National security Aquaculture leases

18 GOMMI However … Only ~20% of the Gulf of Maine has been mapped using multibeam Benthic habitat mapping: much lower percentage

19 Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative What is GOMMI? A partnership of governmental and NGOs in the US and Canada Subcommittee of Led by 11-member Steering Committee (volunteers) –Federal: US & Canada –State: MA, NH, ME –Academia: UNH CCOM/JHC

20 GOMMIs Mission To promote mapping of the entire Gulf of Maine basin

21 GOMMIs Objectives Facilitate communication and collaboration within the mapping community Build logistical and financial support for new projects Make maps and data widely available

22 Four-phased strategic approach Phase 1: Assess the need for GOM seafloor mapping Phase 2: Strategic Plan Phase 3: User Needs Assessment Phase 4:Phase 4: –Secure partnerships and funding –Implement: –Fieldwork –Data management and interpretation, and –Product distribution

23 Provincetown, MA 71 Nmi 50 Nmi Area Surveyed by The NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson Platts Bank In 2005 GOMMI helped direct $1.5 M NOAA funds to an acoustic survey in the Western Gulf of Maine N Jeffreys Ledge

24 2005 survey built on existing coverage of Western GOM NEXT: needs groundtruthing; geological and biological data 2005 Also Surveyed In 2005

25 2006 GOMMI ACTIVITIES Two-year work plan Interactive multibeam coverage map Pilot groundtruthing project on Cashes Ledge: GOM Research Institute and University of Ulster Outreach and education: –Semi-annual e-newsletter –Seafloor mapping kiosk

26 Online multibeam coverage map

27

28 Challenges Ahead Mapping in Canadian GOM is progressing well (Geological Survey of Canada) –National Priority, Oceans Action Plan; Line item in federal budget No similar investment in US GOM –No single US entity mandated to map US seafloor –No dedicated federal funds

29 GOMMIs Next Big Step Raise financial and logistical support to set up and run a significant regional ocean mapping program in the Gulf of Maine

30 Where? University of New Hampshire Why there? Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping /Joint Hydrographic Center –national center of ocean mapping expertise –located in the GOM –employs and collaborates many mapping experts –excellent student training program –largely NOAA-supported –already gathered and processed data for GOMMI –long-term Cooperative Agreement with USGSs Coastal and Marine Geology Program –much of the infrastructure already exists GoM Mapping Program

31 Why? more formal association with UNHs CCOM would provide sound infrastructure including: technical expertise administrative support strategically located headquarters GoM Mapping Program at UNH

32 What Next? Identify and secure funding –legislative outreach –inter-agency partnerships –private/public partnerships Work with UNH/CCOM to establish program requirements to hit the ground running

33 But Wait, Theres More… Continue benthic habitat mapping on Cashes Ledge – proof of concept of regional mapping collaboration Continue outreach and education efforts via web site, newsletters, public presentations, workshops

34 GOMMIs Success Will Require creative collaborations between researchers and managers representing Government Academia, and Private sector

35 Take Home Message Benthic habitat maps are vital tools to help managers visualize –distribution –diversity, and –extent of marine communities under their jurisdiction By establishing a Gulf of Maine habitat mapping program, GOMMI will contribute to the comprehensive planning and management of ocean resources

36 Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative


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