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Florida Coastal Mapping Program—Overview and 2018 workshop report

March 7, 2019

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program is a nascent but highly relevant program that has the potential to greatly enhance the “Blue Economy” of Florida by coordinating and facilitating sea-floor mapping efforts and aligning partner and stakeholder activities for increased efficiency and cost reduction. Sustained acquisition of modern coastal mapping information for Florida may improve management of resources and reduce costs by eliminating redundancy. Economic growth could be aided by improved data to support emerging sectors such as aquaculture and renewable energy.

The present focus of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program is on modern, high-resolution bathymetric and coastal topobathymetric data, which can be immediately used to update navigational charts and identify navigation hazards, provide fundamental baseline data for scientific research, and provide information for use by emergency managers and responders. Derivative products include identifying sand resources for beach nourishment, creating vastly improved models for coastal erosion and flooding, identifying coastal springs, and creating benthic habitat maps. The uses and applications of the data generated could grow over time. The process of creating a steering committee and technical team, conducting an inventory and gaps analysis, soliciting feedback from the stakeholder and partner communities, and developing a prioritization process has provided a framework on which a successful program can develop a sustainable funding strategy that may be an investment the citizens of Florida could benefit from for decades.