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COASTAL STATES' AND TERRITORIES' NEEDS FOR SEABED INFORMATION DESCRIPTION OF QUESTIONNAIRE The Committee on Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Information Needs sent a questionnaire on "EEZ Seabed Uses and Information Needs" to 72 offices in 23 coastal states and 5 U.S. territories (see Appendixes A and B), including state geologists, coastal zone management offices, and other agencies with jurisdiction over the state's or territory's offshore areas. The purpose of the questionnaire was to identify the needs of coastal states and territories for scientific information about the seafloor of the EEZ in relation to their environmental concerns and potential economic development activities in their offshore areas. In addition to filling out a table ranking information needs by categories of expected uses, the respondents were asked to indicate the most crucial locations for present or future interest in the seabed and the reason for interest in that area. A total of 52 responses were received from all 23 states and 3 out of 5 territories (the Marianas Islands and American Samoa did not respond). The responses have been tabulated and aggregated by region in order to summarize plans for present and future uses and preferences for information in a manner useful for planning mapping and research activities. Regions were defined in accordance with the NOAA State Coastal Zone Management Program, except that Alaska and the Pacific Islands are treated as separate regions. The regions are: North Atlantic: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York. Rhode Island South Atlantic: Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Gulf/Islands: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virgin Islands Pacific: California, Oregon, Washington Pacific Islands: Guam, Hawaii, Northern Marianas, American Samoa Alaska: Alaska The structure of the questionnaire allowed incomplete, subjective, and impressionistic responses and therefore is not susceptible to rigorous statistical analysis. However, the responses indicate clear trends and the relative importance of uses and information needs. Additional information was provided by many respondents in cover letters and these were also reviewed by committee members. 7

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8 ANALYSIS OF RESPONSES 1 1 ~ 1 Figures 1 through 6 present the information from the questionnaires in tabulated form (Figures 1, 2, and 4A-F) and then in bar graphs (Figures 3A-B and SA-F). Figures 6A-B summarize information from the questions on page 2 of the questionnaire: "What specific offshore geographic arrears) are the most crucial locales for your state's/territory's present or future interest in the seabed and why? and comments made in cover letters accompanying the returned questionnaires. Following is a description and explanation of each figure: ~ . . . . ~ ~ . Figure 1 shows a tabulation of all responses in all categories of use by information need. Almost all respondents ignored the distinction between reconnaissance and site-specific tasks. The left number indicates the number of "1~ ratings ("essential"~; the right number indicates the number of "2" ratings ("usefuln). The "3t rating has been eliminated, because it seemed to cover a vague range of meanings from "background" to Useless." Figure 2 shows a weighted score in each box. This was obtained by doubling the number of "1" ratings and adding them to the number of "2" ratings. The score indicates the relative strength of response for each use/information category. The last column of the table is a "total score" for all information needs in each use category, and gives some indication of the relative importance the respondents place on each use category. The "total score" at the bottom of the table gives an indication of the relative importance the respondents place on each information need category. Figures 3A and 3B display the total scores for uses and information needs from Figure 2. Figures 4A-F show weighted responses for uses and information needs by region, with total scores for uses. Regions were defined in accordance with the NOAA State Coastal Zone Management Program, except that Alaska and the Pacific Islands are treated as separate regions for our purposes. A list of the states/territories in each region is given on the bottom of each figure, with the number of responses in parentheses. Figures SA-F display the total scores for uses for each region from Figures 4A-F. Figures 6A and 6B summarize information from sources other than the table. These include responses to the question on page 2 of the questionnaire: "What specific offshore geographic greats) are the most crucial locales for your state's territory's present or future interest in the seabed and why?" and comments in cover letters. Similar responses by more than one agency in a state, or identification of more than one location within a state was counted only once in the bottom line totals of Figure 6A and in the regional subtotals Figure 6B. Figure 6B summarizes the responses by region designed to identify the level of common interest in a region as well as to highlight differences between regions. c~ C~ ~ ~ The survey identified five principal concerns. All respondents specified concerns about management of biological resources, particularly fisheries; mineral resources, including placers, aggregates, and phosphates; environmental assessment, including placement and monitoring of waste; shoreline management; and strong but more regionally focused interest in oil and gas development activities. Requirements for data related to pipelines, cables, ocean energy development, geohazards, cultural and recreational interests, and military uses were of much less general concern, although occasionally of regional importance. All states gave high priority to acquisition of seabed information for research. No supporting explanation was provided for this category. It is presumed by the committee that this category includes needs identified in other use categories. Future investigations will seek better definition of this area, which was left open-ended and undefined in the questionnaire. Research is an essential foundation of every use of the ocean and its resources. A different approach will be necessary for determining the priorities for research needs. The states stressed the need for more information collected on the continental shelf, rather than information from the slope and deep ocean. Generalizing from the lumped results (Figure 3B), bathymetry and distribution and characterization of the bottom sediments were the highest priority information desired. Seafloor

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9 imagery, high-resolution seismic profiles and geophysical data, especially deep seismic profiles, follow in order of importance for the principal applications listed. An elaboration of these classes of seabed data follows: Bathymetry, in general, has more stringent requirements for horizontal and vertical resolution near shore, less stringent in greater water depths. Exceptions are where a high level of sea bottom activity extends into deep water, such as in the Gulf of Mexico, where pipelines and oil and gas production structures will soon be placed in water depths of 3,000 feet, 130 miles from shore. . Sediment characterization, including chemical and physical properties as well as thickness and lateral extent, has particular significance for placer and aggregate mining, waste disposal, and oil and gas development, including pipeline placement. Along with bathymetry, sediment characterization by sampling and high-resolution seismic profiling are fundamental components of the EEZ seabed data base for which systematic data acquisition are needed. They provide the necessary ground truth calibration required to fully exploit the information contained in seafloor imagery. Seafloor imagery, with potential for concurrent generation of bathymetric data, is of high priority, especially in the interpretation of the dynamic processes leading to current seabed morphology, e.g., sediment slumping, active faults, tectonism, diapirism. Following completion of the deepwater GLORIA surveys (side-looking or side-scan sonars that provide acoustic images of the seafloor Geologic Longrange Inclined ASDIC developed in the United Kingdom and currently used by the USGS in their EEZ mapping program), local and more detailed surveys would be required to serve the applications identified. Deep seismic profiling has direct applications for geohazard analysis in areas with active faulting and in the regional understanding of the structure and evolution of sedimentary basins. Its use is justifiable for regional tectonic framework analysis and on a project case-by-case basis where there are site-specific needs. It is not economically practical as a general high-density survey tool, unrelated to economic development activity and is therefore lower priority data in the context of general EEZ information needs.

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