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Pelican Island and Pass La Mer to Chaland Pass Restoration (BA-38): Pelican Island and Chaland Headland 2016 habitat classifications

March 1, 2019

The Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) program was developed by Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and is implemented as a component of the System Wide Assessment and Monitoring (SWAMP) program. The program uses both historical data and contemporary data collections to assess and monitor changes in the aerial and subaqueous extent of islands, habitat types, sediment texture and geotechnical properties, environmental processes, and vegetation composition. The U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center provides support to the BICM program through the development of habitat map products using aerial imagery and lidar elevation data and assessing change in habitats over time. These data provide a snapshot of barrier island habitats and can be combined with other past and/or future maps to monitor these valuable natural resources over time. The BICM program has developed two habitat classification schemes which include a detailed 15-class habitat scheme and a general eight-class habitat scheme. The detailed scheme was developed specifically for this habitat mapping effort and builds off the general scheme used in previous BICM habitat mapping efforts (Fearnley and others, 2009). The additional classes developed in the detailed scheme are primarily used to further delineate various dune habitats, separate marsh and mangrove, and distinguish between beach and unvegetated barrier flat habitats. To ensure comparability between this effort and previous BICM map products, we have crosswalked the detailed classes to general habitat classes previously used by Fearnley and others (2009). These products are both the general and detailed versions for the Pelican Island and Pass La Mer to Chaland Pass Restoration (BA-38). The Louisiana State Legislature created Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) in order to conserve, restore, create and enhance Louisiana's coastal wetlands. The wetland restoration plans developed pursuant to these acts specifically require an evaluation of the effectiveness of each coastal wetlands restoration project in achieving long-term solutions to arresting coastal wetlands loss. This data set includes mosaicked aerial photographs for the Pelican Island and Pass La Mer to Chaland Pass Restoration (BA-38) project for 2016. The original general or detailed BICM datasets were clipped to the updated boundary of the BA-38 CWPPRA project (Pelican Island and Pass La Mer to Chaland Pass) for both Pelican and Chaland Islands. This data is used as a basemap habitat classification. It also serves as a visual tool for project managers to help them identify any obvious problems or land loss within their project boundary.