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Workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program

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In October 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) co-hosted two workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program (CSCMP) at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. Both workshops had the same agenda and title—“California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program Workshop”—but were attended by different groups of participants: one group on October 22 and a second group on October 23. These workshops gave the large CSCMP team an opportunity to update participants on all that they have accomplished and to receive input that will help them plan future efforts. CSCMP scientists are currently publishing a comprehensive geologic and habitat base-map series for all of California’s State waters (from the shore out 3 nautical miles), and they are seeking feedback on how the program should go forward to best fit diverse scientific and stakeholder needs.

Excerpt from sheet 1 of USGS Open-File Report 2014–1214 produced by the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program
Above: Excerpt from sheet 1 of USGS Open-File Report 2014–1214 produced by the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program. This view shows color shaded-relief bathymetry (seafloor depth) offshore of Half Moon Bay, California, approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of San Francisco. Bathymetric data reveal the shape of the seafloor, including rough terrain (possibly rock outcrops), smooth terrain (possibly sediment deposits), canyons, and man-made features. Note the “white zones” that were too difficult for the mapping vessel to traverse, owing to rocky shoals off Pillar Point, docks and boats in Pillar Point Harbor, and shallow water beside the shore. (Learn about techniques for mapping such areas in “Mapping Coastal Changes Along Northern Monterey Bay, California,” this issue.) "X" marks approximate location of screenshot from seafloor video, below. [larger version]

Each daylong workshop was attended by 45 to 50 participants, with representation from 32 different entities, including nine state agencies, eight federal agencies, five academic or research institutions, three regional associations, three non-governmental organizations, and seven private-sector companies. The breadth of interests and expertise led to some enthusiastic and stimulating discussions. Here are some of the more salient points:

  • Participants expressed interest in new data collection and products for both the nearshore “white zones” (areas beside the shore that are particularly difficult to map and therefore remain white on present maps) and offshore federal waters (from 3 to 200 nautical miles offshore).
  • Efforts must continue to provide maps and data in suitable formats, including web-accessible formats for data.
  • Decision makers at all levels must be educated on how to access and use CSCMP map and data products. Decision-support tools should be developed to assist them, and science communication and translation should be a high priority.
  • Mapping products and data have a very large range of applications and are essential for establishing baselines and monitoring change.
  • Exploring and developing new partnerships for all CSCMP endeavors—such as data acquisition, map and data development and delivery, information management, education and outreach—should remain a priority.

Screenshot from underwater video used to interpret sonar data and develop habitat maps
Above: Screenshot from underwater video used to interpret sonar data and develop habitat maps. Green laser dots are 15 centimeters (6 inches) apart. Learn more at http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7J1015K . [larger version]

CSCMP staff members are eager to continue the conversation and facilitate communication within the broad science and stakeholder community. They received valuable feedback from workshop attendees and hope to hear from those who were unable to attend. Visit the project website to learn more about the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program. To view the October workshop agenda and (or) leave feedback, visit the workshop webpage.

The workshop organizing committee thanks you for your interest:

Guy Cochrane (USGS)
Tim Doherty (NOAA)
Nadine Golden (USGS)
Sam Johnson (USGS)
Daniel Santillano (OPC)
Amy Vierra (OPC)

Related Sound Waves Stories
California Seafloor Mapping Reveals Hidden Treasures
Sept. / Oct. 2013

Related Websites
California Seafloor Mapping Program
California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program Workshop
California Seafloor Mapping Program video and photograph portal

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in this issue:

Atlantic Margin Expedition Combines Landslide Studies with Mapping

Exploration of Seamounts in the Northeast Caribbean

Mapping Coastal Changes in Monterey Bay to Aid Planning for Future Storms

Spotlight on Sandy
USGS Joins the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Resilience Institute

New Researcher Studies Coastal Sediment Changes Using 3D Modeling

Interested in Naming Undersea Features?

USGS Ocean Data Ambassador Announces New Website

Shells from Deep Arctic Ocean Sediment Reveal a New Clam Species

USGS Field Trip for Attendees at U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting

USGS Staff Aid Community Clean-Up—Kickoff Event for BLUE Ocean Film Festival

Workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program

Nov. / Dec. Publications

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