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Developing Spatial Products for the Kachemak Bay Habitat Focus Area to Support Place-Based Management Needs

This project began in June 2016 and was completed in September 2017.

We are developing a web-based, mapping application that will provide the public access to geospatial products for the shoreline, intertidal, and subtidal areas of Kachemak Bay, Alaska. The application will be part of the NCCOS BIOMapper, an online tool that allows users to interactively access and view aerial and acoustic imagery, underwater video, and other spatial data.

Why We Care
Kachemak Bay has been designated a Habitat Focus Area under the NOAA Habitat Blueprint. The bay is also a State of Alaska Critical Habitat Area and the largest reserve in the National Estuarine Research Reserve system. It is a remarkably fertile environment for fish, shellfish, waterfowl, and shorebirds. It also has a wide variety of marine mammals, some that are threatened or endangered, including otters, seals, porpoise, and various species of whales.

Unfortunately, at this time, critical spatial information and products for Kachemak Bay are either absent or inaccessible to researchers, coastal managers, and the general public.

What We Are Doing
We are creating a web-based BIOMapper interface that incorporates all available geospatial information for Kachemak Bay. This project is enhancing and leveraging an existing effort to map the benthic habitats of Kachemak Bay using multibeam sonar data. The BIOMapper interface will include underwater video recorded at a large number of sites throughout the bay to support the benthic habitat map described above. The interface will also incorporate GIS maps, scanned aerial photos, and underwater video from an NCCOS seagrass mapping effort completed in 2005.

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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