Habitat mapping to inform future survey efficiencies, management strategies, and climate change research
Nova Southeastern University (NSU)
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
The U.S. Department of Treasury
The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 5: Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program
The continental shelf off Florida's west coast is a complex mosaic of essential fish habitats including seagrass beds and carbonate reef outcroppings (hard bottom). Habitat maps and fish community baseline data, however, do not exist for most of the region. This project will characterize and map continental shelf seagrass and hard bottom habitats in nearshore areas fished by many recreational fishermen. Outputs include: recommendations will be made as to how satellite data can best be utilized to improve habitat surveys' scope and efficiency; and first hard bottom habitat maps and baseline reef community characterizations for 1,600 square kilometers of the West Florida continental shelf off Tampa Bay.
Location is center of study area