In the move towards sustainability in the coastal zone, planners and environmental decision makers need a good understanding of the character and spatial distribution of coastal habitats. Mangroves and saltmarshes are examples of coastal habitats that are visible from land. Data derived from shallow water benthic habitat mapping techniques can provide fascinating insights into habitats occurring underwater, and have led to the discovery of submerged coral reefs and other features. Merged bathymetric and topographic Digital Elevation Models (in the format of 3D models) of the coast and shelf offer an exciting new perspective in which to view this dynamic environment, which has experienced major fluctuations in climate and sea level during the last few thousand years.
Benthic habtat mapping;
Benthic habtat mapping: Mapping overview, How to describe habitats
Techniques: Single beam sounders, Multibeam and swath echosounders, Aerial Photography
Case studies: Abrolhos, Bowling Green Bay, Cape Byron Marine Park, Cockburn Sound, Fitzroy River/Keppel Bay, Marmion Marine Park, Moreton Bay, Parks Victoria, Recherche Archipelago, Sydney