Pictures of the seafloor capture important information about the sediments, exposed geologic features, submerged aquatic vegetation, and animals found in a given habitat. With the emergence of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a favored tactic for preserving coral reef resources, knowledge of essential habitat components is paramount to designing effective management strategies. Surprisingly, detailed information on seafloor habitat components is not available in many areas that are being considered for MPA designation or that are already designated as MPAs. A task of the U.S. Geological Survey Coral Reef Ecosystem STudies (USGS CREST) project is addressing this issue.
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Detailed seafloor habitat mapping to enhance marine-resource management