Updates

Marine Mammal and Bird Data Changes Starting December 14

Over the coming months, we will be making significant changes to the marine mammal and bird data available on MarineCadastre.gov (MC.gov). This change is based on the release of the new individual mammal models developed by Duke University's Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab in partnership with NASA, the NOAA Cetacean & Sound Mapping project, and the U.S. Navy. Also, marine life data products were recently developed by the Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT), who collaborated with the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) and expert work groups to produce maps characterizing the predicted distribution and abundance for 29 marine mammal species or species guilds, 40 bird species, and the surveyed biomass of 82 fish species. To facilitate targeted data exploration and decision making, the MDAT developed summary maps characterizing the abundance, richness, and diversity of species. The MC.gov team has determined, through interaction with regional stakeholders and subject matter experts in BOEM and NOAA, that the abundance and richness summary products are most appropriate for delivery via MC.gov. We will provide linkages to services and maps where users can view all individual species as well. Specific changes are outlined below.

Marine Mammals

  • MDAT developed summary maps characterizing total abundance and species richness will be included for all marine mammals at the Atlantic Scale. "Stressor" summary maps will also be included for mammals, which include groups of species that are sensitive to masking by anthropogenic noise sources in the ocean including ship traffic, mining, military activities and others. Three sound sensitivity groups were created: low, medium, and high frequency sound sensitivity. For individual species, only the updated models for the North Atlantic Right Whale in the Atlantic will be included to highlight seasonality differences that can be seen in the models.
  • All current seasonal and monthly models for cetaceans in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico will be removed in February of 2017.
  • Pacific marine mammal models and all sea turtle models will remain on MC.gov, and will be updated at a later date.

Birds

  • MDAT developed summary maps characterizing the total abundance and species richness will be included for all birds at the Atlantic Scale. "Stressor" summary maps will also be included for birds, which include groups of species that have higher collision and higher displacement sensitivity in regards to offshore wind energy development.
  • All current avian annual average abundance prediction models will be removed in February of 2017.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.