As part of its ongoing Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP), the NOAA Coastal Services Center created land cover and change data for the Gulf of Mexico region. Products include land cover for 1996, 2001, and 2005, as well as change products that identify the changes documented between these dates. C-CAP produces a nationally standardized database of land cover and land change information for the coastal regions around the United States, not just the Gulf.
In support of the Deepwater Horizon incident, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center is helping assess potential impacts to get information into the hands of the coastal communities who need it.
For wetland impact calculations, the Center is examining Gulf of Mexico land cover data. Scientists use these data to document how much of a region is covered by a particular type of land cover, such as a wetland or forest, parking lots, farms, etc. Knowing where the wetlands are helps communities set priorities for protection and clean-up efforts. Incorporating tidal data will also be helpful, as community leaders will have information about what areas will be underwater when the oil tides are predicted.
Every day, the NOAA Coastal Services Center partners with state and local organizations to address coastal resource management issues such as coastal development and hazards, coastal storms or spills like the Deepwater Horizon incident. By providing tools, training, information, expertise, and data to coastal resource managers, the Center helps these managers resolve site-specific issues and effectively plan for, monitor, and respond to challenges that arise.