Not only the beauty but also the extraordinary importance of coral reefs and their biodiversity for the coastal regions of the world’s oceans is increasingly coming into the focus of a wider public. For The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a US based global environmental nonprofit organization, Protection, Restoration and Monitoring of Corall Reefs is one of their long term priorities. But many diverse innovative approaches in this matter have been hampered time and again by incomplete mapping of marine habitats.
Now TNC and Tama Group developed a fully-automated method and workflow to create the first-ever high-resolution maps of coral reefs and other marine habitats throughout the Caribbean basin.
Caribbean Benthic Habitat Maps
These maps were created by stitching together tens of thousands of high-resolution satellite images, and in some places using aerial fly-over technology, drones, and divers to dig deeper and validate the data. Thus an accurate und comprehensive map of marine habitats for the Caribbean Basin was created. On this map you can find the position and extent of thirteen different categories of benthic classes – starting with Deep Sand, Hardbottom, Lagoon and Muddy Botton via different Reef Classes up to Sand and Classes of Seagrass.
The finalized maps are now available at CaribbeanMarineMaps.tnc.org. Thus they form an unprecendented basis for monitoring the impacts of climate change, sustainable exploitation and protection of marine ressources.
Take a look
For more information about the maps and the workflow used for creating take a look at the Webinar „Broad Scale Automated Mapping of Shallow Benthic Habitats in the Caribbean using Planet Dove Imagery“.