This month NCCOS scientists completed two collaborative mapping investigations undertakento improve Washington State’s marine spatial plan and natural resource management of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The investigations are intended to reduce conflicts among ocean users; encourageoffshore renewable energy development; facilitate compatible uses; and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives.
The first investigation assembled regional benthic mapping stakeholders to identify mapping requirements and important seafloor areas. Through coordination with NOAA’s Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program, this spring a team aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier will map the seafloor of three priority offshore areas identified by the group.
The second investigation brought together scientists from NOAA, USGS, BOEM, state agencies, and a non-governmental organization to create predictive maps of marine species, recently published as a NOAA Technical Memorandum: Predictive Mapping of Seabirds, Pinnipeds and Cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington .