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Biogeographic Assessment of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to Support Boundary Alternative Assessments


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Objectives

The primary product will be a quantitative characterization of the distribution of organisms and habitats from Point Sal to the U.S./Mexico border. This data will be evaluated within six proposed boundary expansion alternatives. A GIS of the currently available biogeographic data for the region will also be provided.

Project Summary

Channel Islands NMS was designated as a Sanctuary in 1980 and encompasses a large area of rocky coastline, kelp beds, and sea floor located off the coast of southern California . The islands and surrounding waters were selected as a Sanctuary due to their unique geological formations, natural resources, and cultural significance. At the time of Sanctuary designation, its boundaries extended from mean high tide offshore to a distance of six nautical miles. This area was selected to provide adequate protection of the resource given the limited information on the spatial distribution of threats, uses, biota, and habitats that was available at the time. NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) and CINMS are currently considering six alternatives for adjusting Sanctuary boundaries. These alternative boundary options have not yet undergone consideration from a biogeographical perspective. Identifying how the six options overlay with the distribution of biotic and habitat resources is a critical component of assessing their effectiveness for meeting sanctuary objectives. Since the time of original designation, a wealth of in situ studies and advancements in remote sensing have provided a variety of new spatial data that can be used to address boundary options. To meet this need, the NCCOS Biogeography Branch is conducting a biogeographic characterization of the Channel Islands ecosystem in the context of the six proposed boundary modifications. This assessment began by gathering existing spatially explicit biological and environmental data. Data extent, quality, and position relative to alternative boundary options were then evaluated. Finally, modeling, data integration, and quantitative assessment of biotic and habitat resources is currently being produced for each boundary scenario.

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Data

  • Some project data can be found here.

Maps

  • All project maps and figures can be found here.

Credits

  • Project Contributors can be found here.

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Time Frame

Completed: March 2003 - September 2005

For More Information


1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x157



1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x164



1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x153



1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x160


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