Benthic Habitats of Buck Island Reef National Monument
Author(s): Costa, B.M., S. Tormey, and T.A. Battista
NCCOS Center: CCMA (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/ccma)
Center Team: Biogeography
Name of Publisher: NOAA
Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD
Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda
Date of Publication: 2012
Reference Information: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 142
Extent of Work: 64 pp.
Abstract: This report describes the creation and assessment of a shallow (0 =50 m), moderate (50 =1,000 m) and deep
water (1,000 =1,830 m) benthic habitat map for the Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM) north of St.
Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The objective of this effort, conducted by NOAA’s Center for Coastal Monitor
ing and Assessment’s Biogeography Branch in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), was to
provide spatially-explicit information describing the benthic habitat types and live coral cover present in the full
extent of BIRNM’s boundaries. The three resulting habitat maps, generated using a combination of semi-auto
mated classi?cation and visual interpretation techniques, represent the ?rst digital maps of the moderate and
deep-water areas inside the Monument.
This report consists of three primary components: 1) a description of the classi?cation scheme used to catego
rize the different sea?oor habitats, 2) a discussion of the techniques used to create the habitat map, and 3) an
assessment of the shallow-water habitat map’s thematic accuracies. These habitat maps will be used by the U.S.
National Park Service and other local partners for planning research and monitoring activities, and will support
the management and conservation of St. Croix’s BIRNM.
Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)