Using GIS to Monitor Wetlands Loss/Gain

by Vince Sclafani, Natl Wetlands Research Center, Operations, Lafayette, United States,
Bill Jones, Natl Wetlands Research Center, Operations, Lafayette, United States,
David F. Carney, Natl Wetlands Research Center, Operations, Lafayette, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93

Abstract: This paper represents the work being done at the National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to monitor wetland change in the Mississippi River Delta. Due to the complex vegetation and dynamic change in the Mississippi River Delta, it has been difficult to monitor accurately wetland loss and gain. However, with GIS techniques accurate acreage totals and vegetative groupings are now easily obtained. The data used were gathered from serial photography for the years 1956, 1978, 1983, and 1988. The photography was then photo interpreted, digitized, and then imported to GIS formats. With these GIS techniques we have mapped and calculated totals of wetland loss and gain. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methods and techniques used to transfer and analyze this data. Also, to discuss the resulting products and how the products are being used to influence resource decision making such as wetlands restoration in coastal Louisiana.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Wetlands (fresh water) | Wetlands (coastal) | Information systems | Mapping | Vegetation | Rivers and streams | Photography | Mississippi River | North America | Louisiana | United States

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