North Atlantic Region

In June 2012, the Long Island Sound (LIS) Collaborative Mapping Project held a kick-off event in New London, CT. Working in partnership with Federal, state, and academic institutions, NOAA will provide vital data and products to support this important regional initiative.

In June 2004, a settlement fund was created for the purpose of mapping the seafloor environment of the LIS to identify areas of special resource concern, as well as areas that may be more suitable for the placement of energy and other infrastructure. Last year, the LIS Program (State of Connecticut, State of New York, Connecticut and New York Sea Grant, and the US EPA) requested NOAA’s assistance in providing management and technical expertise, survey data acquisition, and product development for LIS. Nautical charting data collected by the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson will provide information needed to map seafloor habitats. In addition, data collected by other parties through LIS Program funding will meet NOAA nautical charting requirements.

Within NOAA, the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) Program works to coordinate NOAA’s various mapping needs, modify projects to meet more than one objective, and improve the agency’s ability to use data for multiple applications (i.e., bathymetry for charting and bottom type for habitat mapping) – hence the mantra: “map once, use many times.”

“Ocean floors are amazingly dynamic, and we have to chart those changes. Our data is used to update NOAA’s nautical charts, but the hydrographic information can also be used to support a number of non-traditional uses, ranging from benefits to fisheries management to support of regional ocean planning efforts,” said NOAA Corps Cmdr. Lawrence Krepp, commanding officer of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and the ship’s chief scientist.

“This is exactly the kind of state-Federal partnership we need to collect new information to make better decisions. That’s what the National Ocean Policy is all about,” said Betsy Nicholson, NOAA representative on the Northeast Regional Ocean Council.

In addition to the Office of Coast Survey, NOAA offices included in the effort include Sea Grant (Oceanic and Atmospheric Research), the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (National Ocean Service), and the Joint Hydrographic Center (National Ocean Service). For more information, contact with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.

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