Half of all world mangroves have been lost over the past 50 years due to a variety of both anthropogenic and natural disturbances. To prevent these dieoffs from continuing, it is necessary to develop a system to monitor and predict regions under highest vulnerability from these various loss drivers.
EcoMap , Electronic Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Program, seeks to establish an interactive, user-friendly portal that can be used by stakeholders and coastal communities to map the world’s most vulnerable regions of mangroves, identify the proximity and urgency of various loss drivers, and provide real-time alerts about local mangrove health.
* EcoMap Video Demo 2018
EcoMap is currently being transferred from using static data to using real-time data in its risk detection algorithms. Real-time alerts for local risk of mangrove loss may then be sent to coastal communities in order enable preventative action in the case of high vulnerability in a particular region.
Structural modeling using LIDAR, TanDEM-X, and SRTM data may also be incorporated into EcoMap ’s risk determination software in order to correlate any changes in mangrove structure or biomass with any observed NDVI changes. These correlations will allow for a more accurate representation of any degradation seen around the world.
In the future, we hope to establish a global network of mangrove monitoring in coastal communities, through equipping schools, decision-makers, and local citizens with the EcoMap software. By giving coastal communities access to the tools needed to detect and predict loss in local mangroves, mangrove resources allocation, policy, and restoration efforts can proceed in a more informed manner.