Project Description: San Francisco Bay Shallow Water Mapping

Summary

In spring 2016, SFML staff and students completed the mapping of the extreme shallow water habitat areas of SF Bay identified as high priority sites by a broad community of regional stakeholders (red polygons in map above). These habitats had never been mapped due to the limitations of conventional hydrographic mapping vessels and technology. This project therefore was also designed to serve as a proof-of-compete for the use of unmanned surface vessels (USV) for ultra-shallow water mapping. SFML in conjunction with SeaRobotics developed and tested a specially designed USV for operation within the extremely shallow subtidal areas of SF Bay. The USV Albatross is now the property of the University Corporation and part of the SFML research vessel fleet.

Student Involvement

CSUMB students were involved in the acquisition and processing of the bathymetry and habitat data.

Broader Significance

These data are the first of their kind collected for these high priority habitats in SF Bay, and if successful, the USV Albatross will be a valuable tool for mapping the other bays and estuaries along the California coast. These data are a crucial piece of the modeling effort being undertaken by the State as it plans for sea level rise in urban coastal communities.

IfAME PI

Dr. Rikk Kvitek

Financial Support

California Ocean Protection Council

Field Support

SFML vessels: R/V MacGinitie, R/V KelpFly, new SeaRobotics USV being built for this project.

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