For the first time in history there is now a comprehensive national data layer representing marine aquaculture sites for the United States.
That’s not to say the data didn’t exist before. It did. It’s just the layers were dispersed throughout each coastal state’s agency of authority on aquaculture which varied from state to state. The data could be found in a state’s Department of Natural Resources or their Department of Agriculture or their Department of Environmental Protection or their Department of Marine Resources.
Need I go on? That’s what makes this new layer so momentous if anyone wants to find aquaculture sites for a particular state they can find it in this data layer. This layer also now allows communities to examine the economic value of aquaculture in their area and correlate it to its physical extent in the environment, thus helping planners balance the many activities on our busy coasts.
Looking at the metadata you can see the comprehensive list of all the sources that were researched and data that was compiled to create this layer.
Now you may look at the data in this MarineCadastre.gov map service and wonder why not all coastal states are represented?
While this doesn’t contain sites for every coastal state, it does contain quite a few of them. Any data that is missing is either in the process of being created or updated by that state, that state may not have any geospatial data representing their aquaculture locations, or that state may not actually participate in aquaculture activities.
Learn More Read the Complete Blog Post
See Also: New Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (via NOAA)