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Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) 2015 land-water classifications

April 18, 2018

Wetland restoration efforts conducted by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) in Louisiana rely on monitoring efforts to determine the efficacy of these efforts. The Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) was developed to assist in a multiple-reference approach that uses aspects of hydrogeomorphic functional assessments and probabilistic sampling for monitoring. The CRMS program includes a suite of approximately 390 sites that encompass the range of hydrological and ecological conditions for each stratum. As part of CRMS, land and water classifications are created from Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs) approximately every three years at all CRMS sites. A DOQQ is a raster image in which displacement in the image caused by sensor orientation and terrain relief has been removed and combines the image characteristics of a photo with geometric qualities of a map. The DOQQs generated for this project consist of 2015 Color Infrared (CIR) Digital Imagery. These images were classified into land and water categories using a threshold of the near infrared (NIR) band, followed by supervised and unsupervised classification. Initial classification results are then reviewed by multiple image analysts to identify and manually recode errors. The final land-water classifications are intended to serve as both geographic and quantitative assessments of landscape composition on the date of acquisition. Three previous assessments have been conducted (2005, 2008, and 2012). Once the program creates enough data points for statistical analyses, these data will be used for land area change rate calculation.