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Webinar: Modeling Sand Shoals and their Value as Fish Habitat: Providing Decision Support for Offshore Sand Dredging
Tuesday, 05 May 2020, 12:00
Tuesday, May 5, 2020. 12:00PM. Webinar: Modeling Sand Shoals and their Value as Fish Habitat: Providing Decision Support for Offshore Sand Dredging. Brad Pickens and Chris Taylor, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. Sponsored by NOAA’s National Ocean Service. More information here.
Marine environments are under increased pressure to accommodate multiple resource uses, yet fish distributions and habitat relationships are often not identified at the scale needed to assess potential impacts from human uses. We classified sand shoals and developed species distribution models to inform planning and assessment of sand dredging on the US Atlantic Shelf. For the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, we modeled select fish species,including shrimp, red snapper, lane snapper, black sea bass, and six shark species. Predictor variable development aimed to untangle the role of geomorphology, nearby wetlands, prey species, and oceanographic conditions in shaping species' distributions. A decision-support tool, ShoalMATE (Shoal Map Assessment Tool for EFH), was developed as an interactive mapping and reporting tool to aide in the EFH assessment to minimize impacts to habitats.