This project directly contributes to NOAA's plan for evaluating coastal ecosystem health. One of the least understood aspects of ecosystem health is marshland loss. Data from traditional techniques such as photogrammetry and new techniques such as GPS would be incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) providing a comprehensive, information system to support decision making for this region. Furthermore, improved measurement of the anomalous sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay would resolve a discrepancy in determining global sea level rise and enhance climate monitoring for predicting and assessing decadal-to- centennial changes.
In addition to contributing to NOAA's efforts in global climate change and estuarine research, the products resulting from this proposal are fundamental to research by the University of Maryland and the Horn Point Laboratory. The contacts with C-CAP and collaboration with North Carolina State and the University of Maryland will help assure the viability and dissemination of these data and results throughout the academic community. Furthermore, the collaboration with the state university, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Chesapeake Bay Program has demonstrated state and local interest. Continuing communication between these groups will provide maximal support and interest from other federal programs and local governments while minimizing duplicate efforts.
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