Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Estuaries and Coasts
Aerial surveys of coastal habitats can uniquely inform the science and management of shallow, coastal zones, and when repeated annually,theyrevealchangesthatareotherwisedifficulttoassess fromground-basedsurveys.Thispaperreviewstheutilityofalongterm(1984–present)annualaerialmonitoringprogramforsubmersedaquaticvegetation(SAV)inChesapeakeBay,itstidaltributaries, and nearby Atlantic coastal bays, USA. We present a series of applications that highlight the program’s importance in assessing anthropogenic impacts, gauging water quality status and trends, establishing and evaluating restoration goals, and understanding the impactofcommercialfishingpracticesonbenthichabitats.Theseexamplesdemonstratehowperiodicallyquantifyingcoverageofthis important foundational habitat answers basic research questions locally, as well as globally, and provides essential information to resource managers. New technologies are enabling more frequent and accurate aerial surveys at greater spatial resolution and lower cost. These advances will support efforts to extend the applications described here to similar issues in other areas.
ChesapeakeBay, Coastal management, Aerial photography. GIS
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Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Gurbisz, Cassie; Hannam, Michael; Keisman, Jeni; Landry, J. Brooke; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Moore, Kenneth A.; Murphy, Rebecca R.; Patrick, Christopher J.; Testa, Jeremy; Weller, Donald E.; Wilcox, David J.; and Batiuk, Richard A., Long-term Annual Aerial Surveys of Submersed Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Support Science, Management, and Restoration (2019). Estuaries and Coasts.