Pinpointing Information Gaps to Aid Decisions

Instruments named “surface elevation tables” shed light on how sea level rise affects wetlands, but their uneven placement in coastal areas can cause spotty data results. The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative turned to the Digital Coast for help, because they needed to know where a lack of surface elevation tables was creating gaps in wetland data.

Digital Coast staffers combined the site’s land cover, sea level rise, and elevation data with outside precipitation and temperature data. Their GIS analysis pinpointed gaps in the network of tables and uncovered new wetland habitat information.

With these findings, project partners are choosing strategic spots for new tables that will fill these information gaps and aid adaptation decisions. Cooperative members include the Apalachicola, Weeks Bay, and Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves. (2017)

More Information: Story from the Field

Partners: Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey Wetland and Aquatic Research Center