Coral Remote Sensing Workshop: Proceedings and Recommendations, 17-18 September, Sheraton, Brickell Ave, Miami FL

NOAA Coastal Services Center (1996) Coral Remote Sensing Workshop: Proceedings and Recommendations, 17-18 September, Sheraton, Brickell Ave, Miami FL. Charleston, SC, NOAA/National Ocean Service/Coastal Services Center,

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Abstract

Coral reefs exist in warm, clear, and relatively shallow marine waters worldwide. These complex assemblages of marine organisms are unique, in that they support highly diverse, luxuriant, and essentially self-sustaining ecosystems in otherwise nutrient-poor and unproductive waters. Coral reefs are highly valued for their great beauty and for their contribution to marine productivity. Coral reefs are favorite destinations for recreational diving and snorkeling, as well as commercial and recreational fishing activities. The Florida Keys reef tract draws an estimated 2 million tourists each year, contributing nearly $800 million to the economy. However, these reef systems represent a very delicate ecological balance, and can be easily damaged and degraded by direct or indirect human contact. Indirect impacts from human activity occurs in a number of different forms, including runoff of sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants associated with forest harvesting, agricultural practices, urbanization, coastal construction, and industrial activities. Direct impacts occur through overfishing and other destructive fishing practices, mining of corals, and overuse of many reef areas, including damage from souvenir collection, boat anchoring, and diver contact. In order to protect and manage coral reefs within U.S. territorial waters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has been directed to establish and maintain a system of national marine sanctuaries and reserves, and to monitor the condition of corals and other marine organisms within these areas. To help carry out this mandate the NOAA Coastal Services Center convened a workshop in September, 1996, to identify current and emerging sensor technologies, including satellite, airborne, and underwater systems with potential application for detecting and monitoring corals. For reef systems occurring within depths of 10 meters or less (Figure 1), mapping location and monitoring the condition of corals can be accomplished through use of aerial photography combined with diver surveys. However, corals can exist in depths greater than 90 meters (Figure 2), well below the limits of traditional optical imaging systems such as aerial or surface photography or videography. Although specialized scuba systems can allow diving to these depths, the thousands of square kilometers included within these management areas make diver surveys for deeper coral monitoring impractical. For these reasons, NOAA is investigating satellite and airborne sensor systems, as well as technologies which can facilitate the location, mapping, and monitoring of corals in deeper waters. The following systems were discussed as having potential application for detecting, mapping, and assessing the condition of corals. However, no single system is capable of accomplishing all three of these objectives under all depths and conditions within which corals exist. Systems were evaluated for their capabilities, including advantages and disadvantages, relative to their ability to detect and discriminate corals under a variety of conditions. (PDF contains 55 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Coral Remote Sensing Workshop: Proceedings and Recommendations, 17-18 September, Sheraton, Brickell Ave, Miami FL
Corporate Creator/Author: NOAA Coastal Services Center
Date: 1996
Publisher: NOAA/National Ocean Service/Coastal Services Center
Place of Publication: Charleston, SC
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Subjects: Ecology
Management
Environment
Item ID: 2215
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2009 18:38
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 19:27
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2215

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