Geographic Information and Technical Support

Science Center Objects

USGS WARC first implemented geographic information systems (GIS) in 1980 to assist in monitoring the nature and extent of wetland habitat changes. Today, geographers and support staff create, maintain, and use geospatial data to analyze restoration efforts in Louisiana. 

Wetlands Habitat Map - River reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp, Louisiana

River reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project map depicting National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) information and Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) site locations in and around the project area. Map created by Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) of Louisiana. 

The Science Issue and Relevance: The Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) first implemented geographic information systems (GIS) in 1980 to assist in monitoring the nature and extent of wetland habitat changes. The geospatial capabilities at the Coastal Restoration Assessment Branch (CRAB), in part, grew out of that initial effort and now use GIS, remote sensing, and other computer based technologies to address a wide range of natural resource related issues. Providing these products and services requires a standardized GIS data management and extensive coordination with project planners, managers, and decision makers. The CRAB often applies this technology in cooperative ventures with other federal agencies, state and local government, and the private sector. Specifically, the WARC CRAB, as a cooperative partner, is providing general GIS support, remote sensing support, data management support, web design and development support, and cartographic support for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA). CRAB has provided this support since the early 1990s.

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: Geographers and support staff create, maintain, and utilize various databases, data layers, and metadata in analysis for restoration efforts in Louisiana. These datasets are used by other staff at WARC, CPRA, and other state and federal agencies for planning or to assess project effectiveness. In addition to planning tools, analysis provided through geospatial support has been absorbed for use in other projects. The databases created and maintained with our state partners are incorporated onto CRMS, lacoast.gov, SONRIS, and CIMS websites. 

Future Steps: Moving forward, WARC will continue to invest in this capacity to ensure relevant datasets, spatial analysis techniques, and technologies stay current to support our cooperators in the restoration community.

Surficial sediment deposit areas in coastal Louisiana

Surficial sediment deposit maps help inform the management of sediment resources at the regional level. Recently, they were used in the development of the Louisiana Sediment Availability and Allocation Program (LASAAP) which provides a geospatial tool to help managers effectively manage sediment resources in coastal Louisiana. Maps and the associated report can be found at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) of Louisiana.