NOAA Scientists Develop First Comprehensive Habitat Maps for National Parks Service’s Buck Island Reef National Monument
Last week, scientists from NCCOS released new habitat maps for Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM) describing the geology and biology of the seafloor from 0 to 1,830 meters (m) in depth. These maps were developed using a combination of manual and computer-based mapping methods, which integrated remotely-sensed images acquired by six different sensors.
This effort marks the first time that habitats deeper than about 30m have been characterized inside BIRNM. These never before available maps provide new information to local scientists and a baseline to resource managers for monitoring and managing mesophotic (mid-light) and deep-water coral reef ecosystems.