APPENDIX G
EXAMPLES OF USES OF DATA BY STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES

GIS APPLICATIONS IN FLORIDA'S COASTAL ZONE

The Coastal and Marine Assessment program (CAMRA) at the Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) has invested considerable resources to convert the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical chart information to GIS format. The FMRI is mandated to manage, protect, and enhance Florida's marine resources. To accomplish this objective, CAMRA manages the Marine Resources Geographic Information System (MRGIS). The MRGIS uses the latest in raster and vector technologies to synthesize a broad range of cultural and marine resource information. Many of the most useful data bases in the MRGIS are derivative products of NOAA nautical charts. The following examples provide a small but representative sample of the GIS support that CAMRA provides in Florida using NOAA chart information in conjunction with project-specific data.

Site Selection for Testing of Explosives

The U.S. Navy is considering an area off Key West, Florida, to detonate underwater explosions to gather test data for mine-clearing in the Persian Gulf. The Florida Governor's Office asked CAMRA staff to use the MRGIS for preliminary analysis of the Navy's proposal (Friel and Haddad, 1992). It was recommended that potential sites be

  1. within a 60-nautical-mile radius of Key West;

  2. in water approximately 25 feet deep;

  3. outside the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS);

  4. outside the jurisdictional boundary of the State of Florida;

  5. in areas with noncritical benthic resources (e.g., sandbottom); and

  6. a significant distance from cultural resources (shipwrecks).

Appropriate data bases were compiled, including digitized shoreline, bathymetry, and jurisdictional boundaries from the NOAA charts. A "depth corridor" analysis was first conducted by creating a polygon of the 18-foot and 30-foot depth arcs to focus attention on waters 25 feet deep. The polygon was then used as a "cookie-cutter" to extract just the resource information contained in that depth range. Several different versions of the maps



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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission APPENDIX G EXAMPLES OF USES OF DATA BY STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES GIS APPLICATIONS IN FLORIDA'S COASTAL ZONE The Coastal and Marine Assessment program (CAMRA) at the Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) has invested considerable resources to convert the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical chart information to GIS format. The FMRI is mandated to manage, protect, and enhance Florida's marine resources. To accomplish this objective, CAMRA manages the Marine Resources Geographic Information System (MRGIS). The MRGIS uses the latest in raster and vector technologies to synthesize a broad range of cultural and marine resource information. Many of the most useful data bases in the MRGIS are derivative products of NOAA nautical charts. The following examples provide a small but representative sample of the GIS support that CAMRA provides in Florida using NOAA chart information in conjunction with project-specific data. Site Selection for Testing of Explosives The U.S. Navy is considering an area off Key West, Florida, to detonate underwater explosions to gather test data for mine-clearing in the Persian Gulf. The Florida Governor's Office asked CAMRA staff to use the MRGIS for preliminary analysis of the Navy's proposal (Friel and Haddad, 1992). It was recommended that potential sites be within a 60-nautical-mile radius of Key West; in water approximately 25 feet deep; outside the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS); outside the jurisdictional boundary of the State of Florida; in areas with noncritical benthic resources (e.g., sandbottom); and a significant distance from cultural resources (shipwrecks). Appropriate data bases were compiled, including digitized shoreline, bathymetry, and jurisdictional boundaries from the NOAA charts. A "depth corridor" analysis was first conducted by creating a polygon of the 18-foot and 30-foot depth arcs to focus attention on waters 25 feet deep. The polygon was then used as a "cookie-cutter" to extract just the resource information contained in that depth range. Several different versions of the maps

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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission were created for a Navy contractor from which a rectangular study area was selected for further review. Ultimately, 25 candidate test sites were identified. The Navy contracted for "photo documentation" and further site-specific study. The MRGIS analyses provided a regional screening of areas in which minimum resource impact could be expected if explosive testing took place. Marine Mammal Research The manatee is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the United States—as few as 1,850 animals remain. The Marine Mammals Section of the FMRI is implementing the Manatee GIS, to use as a primary tool in research and management efforts to understand and conserve the remaining species (Ward and Weigle, 1993). The Manatee GIS is a functional node of the MRGIS and integrates manatee distribution, mortality, and migration data with several data bases that were created from NOAA nautical charts. In particular, shoreline and bathymetry are key data bases for the manatee research and management efforts. The primary data sources for these features are NOS topographic and hydrographic sheets. To acquire a statewide shoreline base map, FMRI contracted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to refine several l:40,000-scale digital shoreline files created by the National Ocean Service and convert them to ARC/INFO format. In addition, a data conversion firm was contracted to convert bathymetric data from paper NOAA charts to digital ARC/INFO format for the entire state of Florida. These core data sets are used with diverse data bases such as manatee distribution, mortality, migration, aquatic vegetation, and marinas. Preliminary findings have been used to delineate manatee protection zones, and tests are being conducted to combine environmental layers such as water temperature, vegetative cover, salinity, and bathymetry to create predicative models of travel routes and to identify high-use migration corridors. Boat and Diver Use Patterns in the Florida Keys For many, boating and diving are the main attractions of the Florida Keys. FMRI-South Florida Regional Laboratory and the Nature Conservancy recently completed a year-long study to estimate the number of boats that utilize the FKNMS, and specifically the level of use on individual reefs. The study relied upon a combination of aerial fly-overs, surface surveys, and GIS data base development and analysis. CAMRA's involvement began when staff wanted to see reefs and benthic communities plotted over a navigation chart to record the location of boats that were identified during aerial and surface surveys. CAMRA staff supported the collection, storage, analysis, and display of the boat-use data using information derived from NOAA nautical charts. To facilitate the effort, CAMRA staff designed a data collection atlas Of 26 maps that display land, reefs and hardbottom, aids to navigation, and a sampling grid. Sixty-five aerial surveys were conducted on different days of the year to count and classify boat-use patterns, and these data

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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission were supplemented by ground surveys to estimate the amount of Specific boating activities (diving, fishing, etc.). A separate map atlas was used for each day, and the data were stored as a distinct "layer" of information to allow comparisons between different days and different areas of the FKNMS. The resultant data base has been used for a variety of spatial and statistical analyses to explore correlations between boat-use patterns and benthic communities, bathymetry, boat ramps, marinas, and mooting buoys. The results of these analyses ultimately will help determine carrying capacities, create specific use zones, and further revise the FKNMS management plan. Fisheries Management CAMRA created the Resource Impact Map (RIM) series of eight chart-sized maps to assist managers statewide in making resource decisions. Each map includes coastline, depth contours, and aids to navigation digitized from NOAA charts. Benthic communities such as mangroves, saltmarshes, seagrasses, oyster reefs, coral reefs, hard bottom, and bare bottom are included, as are managed area boundaries. Bathymetric depth curves are shown because depth is an important controlling factor for human and marine resources. Channels and navigation aids such as buoys are displayed to help users orient themselves, like road networks on land-based maps. The Florida Marine Fisheries Commission and the FMRI are using GIS and the RIM information to enhance Florida's fisheries (Haddad et al., 1993). For instance, the basic RIM data bases were augmented with shrimp nursery data to assist in the complex process of developing a shrimp management plan that includes closure areas. Issues relative to habitat protection, user conflict, and seafood quality vary among regions, and the maps provide a geographic presentation of these differences for policy analysis. Oil Spill Planning and Response Since early 1992, FMRI has been developing the Florida Marine Spill Analysis System (FMSAS), a GIS-based application to assist oil spill contingency planning, response, cleanup, and damage assessment. The FMSAS integrates a variety of information (digitized maps, scanned images, remote sensing imagery, tabular data, and photographs) with targeted analytical routines needed to implement an oil spill response strategy focused on resource protection. Many of the data shown on nautical charts have been included in the FMSAS as vector data bases. In addition, scanned nautical charts (250 dots per inch) have been integrated to provide a familiar visual backdrop for displaying the 20 other data sets in the FMSAS. The Coast Guard, NOAA, and state response officials specified this need because all responders are familiar with the basic nautical chart format. On August 10, 1993, three vessels collided in Tampa Bay, Florida. A vessel transporting aviation fuel burst into flames while another vessel began leaking #6 oil into the Bay. Eventually, over 350,000 gallons of oil would leak out and a 10-mile stretch of popular beach would be covered in thick oil. The FMSAS in conjunction with Global

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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission Positioning Systems (GPSs), was used to analyze the changing boundaries, logistical alternatives, resources-at-risk, and environmental sampling strategies to manage the spill. Some key features that all oil spill responders requested on the maps came from NOAA charts: shoreline, bathymetry, and aids to navigation. More than 300 requests for information were answered by CAMRA last year to provide coastal zone management assistance. The products delivered included maps, tabular output, images, prints, digital data on a variety of media, and articles related to GIS and marine resource management authored by the staff. The vast majority of the requested products include some of the information found on nautical charts. CAMRA has invested over $100,000 in converting paper NOAA charts and digital data files to quality GIS data bases and is far from finished. Much of these funds were spent on digitizing paper maps or creating routines to convert digital NOAA data to a usable format. GIS APPLICATIONS IN ALASKA'S COASTAL ZONE State Coastline: In response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the State of Alaska and federal agencies developed a uniform digital coastline to track oil impacts, manage cleanup activities; and conduct Natural Resource Damage Assessment studies. This coastline has subsequently been used for many GIS applications (both spill related and non-spill related). The source information came primarily from the most current U.S. Geological Survey 1:63,360 topographic map series. Supplemental features including small islets and post-1964 earthquake uplifted areas were derived from U.S. Forest Service timber type maps based on 1:15,840 scale aerial photography, and Exxon photo interpretation of 1:60,000 color infrared aerial photography. The coastline is normalized at the approximate line of mean high water in keeping with the U.S. Geological Survey's data. Alyeska Contingency Plan: The Alyeska Pipeline Company has developed a Graphical Resource Database to assist in its response to future oil spills and help meet state and federal spill contingency planning requirements. The data base consists of three base maps, which are derived from NOAA nautical charts covering the Copper River Delta, Prince William Sound, and the Kenai Peninsula/Kodiak Island. Up to 50 layers of information can be superimposed on the base maps. Information layers include sensitive fish and wildlife habitats, shoreline types, aquaculture sites, land ownership, etc. Each object within the layer is geographically located and may have a variety of information attached to it, such as text, graphs, or pictures. The system offers ready retrieval of information needed to make informed decisions in responding to an oil spill or other disaster. Fisheries Research: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game utilizes the SEAPLOT nautical charting and navigation system developed by Ocean Tech on several of its vessels engaged in fisheries research. The system uses Ocean Tech versions of current NOAA nautical charts and has inputs for GPS, loran, and depth sounder data. Site attributes (including depth and textual information) can be geo-referenced, logged, and stored for later retrieval and display. Supplemental information including bathymetry, area boundaries,

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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission coarse tracks, gear locations, bottom types, labels, and navigation aids can be added and used by the system for navigation, contour mapping, sorting, and printed outputs. Data from the system can be downloaded in a variety of formats for use in subsequent analysis and report preparation. Sea Otter Research. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service utilized a digital bathymetric contour map to aid in its assessment of injury to sea otters from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The map was derived from bathymetric point data provided by NOAA, National Ocean Survey for the Prince William Sound, Kenai Peninsula, and Kodiak Island areas. Bathymetric contours were generated using an ARC/INFO routine and were checked for quality against NOAA paper charts. The contours were used to plot areas of less than 20 meters depth, which are preferred sea otter feeding areas. These areas were subsequently field examined, and population estimates were obtained to derive an overall assessment of sea otter numbers. The bathymetric contour map helped to quantify potential sea otter habitat that was occupied at below-average densities due to spill mortality. GIS APPLICATION TO COASTAL CHANGE STUDIES IN LOUISIANA Louisiana contains about 40 percent of the nation's coastal wetlands. This represents a renewable natural resource base valued at more than $1 billion annually, and includes 25 percent of the nation's fish harvest, its largest fur harvest, the highest concentration of waterfowl, and the country's largest recreational marine fishery. Recent studies indicate that coastal Louisiana has one of the world's most rapidly changing shorelines with retreat rates exceeding 20 meters per year in some areas. Wetland habitats protected by outer coast deposits are being replaced by open water at a rate of 65 square kilometers per year. While the socioeconomic impacts of Louisiana's coastal land loss problem are extreme, coastal wetlands throughout the nation are similarly productive and fragile. With a large portion of the nation's population moving to coastal areas, concern over the future of various coastal habitats has intensified. Various agencies and universities are studying these ecosystems to better understand their origin and evolution, and the impact of human activities on environmental response. Basic physical environmental information required for comprehensive studies of coastal change includes repetitive shoreline position and bathymetry (water depth) surveys. These data have been well documented for over 100 years, and changes in shoreline position and bathymetry can provide valuable insight into the processes affecting the origin and evolution of coastal features. Personnel at the Center for Coastal, Energy and Environmental Resources at Louisiana State University have developed comprehensive methodologies for accurate delineation, compilation and analysis of these data using CAD, computer cartography, GIS, GPS, and digital terrain modeling. Detailed descriptions of the procedures used for determining shoreline position change and bathymetry change are presented in Hiland et al. (1993).

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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission REFERENCES Friel, C. A., and K. D. Haddad. 1992. GIS brings new outlook to Florida Keys marine resources management. GIS WORLD 5:32-36. Haddad K. D., G. McGarry MacAulay, and W. H. Teehan. 1993. GIS and fisheries management. Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management/ASCE 68-78. Hiland, M.W., M.R. Byrnes, R.A. McBride, and F.W. Jones. 1993. Change analysis and spatial information management for coastal environments. MicroStation Manager March, 58-61. Ward, L.I., and B.L. Weigle. 1993. To save a species: GIS for manatee research and management. GIS WORLD 6:34-37.