The National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program initiated a benthic habitat mapping program in ocean and coastal parks in 2008-2009 in alignment with the NPS Ocean Park Stewardship 2007-2008 Action Plan. With more than 80 ocean and Great Lakes parks encompassing approximately 2.5 million acres of submerged territory and approximately 12,000 miles of coastline (Curdts, 2011), this Servicewide Benthic Mapping Program (SBMP) is essential. This report presents an initial gap analysis of three pilot parks under the SBMP: Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS), Channel Islands National Park (CHIS), and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE) (fig. 1). The recommended SBMP protocols include servicewide standards (for example, gap analysis, minimum accuracy, final products) as well as standards that can be adapted to fit network and park unit needs (for example, minimum mapping unit, mapping priorities). The SBMP requires the inventory and mapping of critical components of coastal and marine ecosystems: bathymetry, geoforms, surface geology, and biotic cover. In order for a park unit benthic inventory to be considered complete, maps of bathymetry and other key components must be combined into a final report (Moses and others, 2010). By this standard, none of the three pilot parks are mapped (inventoried) to completion with respect to submerged resources. After compiling the existing benthic datasets for these parks, this report has concluded that CHIS, with 49 percent of its submerged area mapped, has the most complete benthic inventory of the three. The ASIS submerged inventory is 41 percent complete, and SLBE is 17.5 percent complete.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Gap Analysis of Benthic Mapping at Three National Parks: Assateague Island National Seashore, Channel Islands National Park, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
U.S. Geological Survey
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
v, 60 p.
Assateague Island National Seashore;Channel Islands National Park;Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore