On August 28, 2015 a meeting to assess the state of seafloor mapping in southern California was convened by the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Meeting attendees came from marine resource management agencies, NGOs, and academia to present their institution/agency’s requirements for this type of information as well as their priorities for future acquisition. There was substantial agreement among participants that seafloor bathymetry and habitat data are foundational data sets essential for a wide range of uses including: disaster response, navigational safety, endangered species and fisheries management, conservation, research, and marine planning. There was also recognition that substantial data gaps exist across southern California (including >50% of the sanctuary) and new acquisition to fill those gaps should be a priority. Over the coming months NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, a key sanctuary partner, will lead up the development of a public ESRI Story Map site depicting the footprints of known data locations along with a report summarizing the priorities discussed. The priorities will also be made available through a partnership between NOAA’s Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program and SeaSketch and will be provided to the California State Seafloor Mapping Program Steering Committee. For more information on the meeting or to obtain meeting notes please contact Ryan.M.Freedman@noaa.gov. For more information on the prioritization process please contact Tim.Battista@noaa.gov or Laura.Kracker@noaa.gov.
For further details, please see the following links to podcasts on current NOAA mapping efforts: