Authors: Ross Reahard, Allison Lanclos, Elizabeth Thompson, Jamie Thompson, Rebekah King
Mentors/Advisors (affiliation): Joe Spruce and Dr. Russell Lambert (Computer Sciences Corporation/CSC, Stennis Space Center), Dr. Kenton Ross (Langley Research Center), Brandy Couvillion (U.S. Geological Survey)
Team Location: Stennis Space Center, Stennis, Mississippi
Abstract: Every year, U.S. federal, state and local agencies coordinate wetland restoration projects under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA). Many nonprofit agencies such as the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) work with government agencies to provide scientific support to large-scale projects. The NWF has asked the Stennis DEVELOP team to aid them in analyzing wetland loss or gain in specific wetland restoration project areas. Using GIS data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the team created bounding polygons that captured the Wax Lake Delta, Bohemia Spillway area, Caernarvon diversion, and Davis Pond diversion. Within these polygons, a rigorous land cover classification with classes chosen based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) land cover class categories was created using Landsat data from the 1980s as a baseline. A change detection was run between the 1980s land cover map and a land cover map generated from a more recent 2012 dataset (e.g. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER), Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), or the Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS)). This demonstrated how much wetland area was gained or lost in each of the above mentioned restoration sites. The team then compared and contrasted their results with those from similar change studies conducted by USGS. In addition, the team assessed the feasibility of inputting the 1980s land cover map and the updated land cover map into the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model used by The Nature Conservancy. The goal was to use the InVEST biodiversity/habitat model, coastal vulnerability model, and/or carbon sequestration model to show how changes in wetland area have altered the overall habitat quality, storm surge buffer protection, and carbon sequestration potential of the marsh. This project also assessed the feasibility of using foreign sensors such as AWiFS to create change products since Landsat 5 is no longer operational. This project resulted in wetland change products targeted to specific wetland restoration projects as requested by NWF, an increase in knowledge and capacity for using the InVEST model, and demonstrated the usefulness of NASA EOS in aiding Louisiana wetland restoration projects.
Transcript available here.