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Benthic Habitat Mapping of Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands


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Objectives


There are two overall project objectives:
  1. Create a benthic habitat map for coral reefs ecosystems off Majuro, RMI.
  2. Provide guidance to local government and scientists on coral reef monitoring strategies based on the map product.
Map of The Republic of the Marshall Islands
Map of The Republic of the Marshall Islands

Project Summary

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a Micronesian nation in the western Pacific that is comprised of many atolls and islands. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program has provided funding and grant opportunities to scientists in the region with the primary aim of increasing local monitoring capability of the coral reef ecosystems. Despite recent improvements in capacity, the local scientific and management community simply does not have the capability to create some key building blocks to enable effective coral reef monitoring. Namely, benthic habitat maps consistent with those produced for U.S. states and territories are a primary information need. Such maps form the foundation of inventory and monitoring activities. Creating such baseline maps is a primary goal of NOAA's Biogeography Branch for this project. Second, the ability to use the benthic maps in conjunction with existing reef fish and coral cover data is also lacking at the local level. Most notably, an understanding of spatially stratified sampling design is needed to enable monitoring in the future by local scientists. The use of statistical techniques that optimize sampling strategies based on sample variance will be done the Biogeography Branch using the Sampling Design Tool, an ArcGIS extension developed by the Branch. The analysis will consist of a set of alternative monitoring strategies and scenarios that can be used locally as capacity and capability increase in future years.

Products

Reports and Publications

Maps and Imagery Data

Partners

Time Frame

Ongoing: Fall 2009 - December 2011

For More Information

Project Lead:
1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 ext 144

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