Remote and rugged terrain, unpredictable weather and short field seasons make mapping Alaska’s expansive coastal areas uniquely challenging, but data on coastal dynamics and nearshore bathymetry are urgently needed. Coastal erosion and flooding threaten coastal communities while marine traffic including passenger cruise ships and oil tankers is increasing in Alaska’s waters.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and the Alaska Geospatial Council (AGC) have partnered to evaluate Alaska’s coastal mapping needs. The Coastal Strategist provides guidance, coordination, and leadership in the development of a cohesive statewide strategy for geospatial data collection in the Alaskan coastal and nearshore areas (broadly defined as <30 m MLLW depth to areas on land that may be subject to flooding within 1 km of tidally influenced water).
Contact the Coastal Mapping Strategist Marta Kumle by email or submit a comment/question by form here.
If you have any mapping projects, plans or specific data needs, please add these areas to SeaSketch.
Coastal Mapping Strategic Plan
Due for publication in December of 2019, the AGC’s Coastal Mapping Strategic Plan will outline priorities for coastal mapping in the coastal, onshore, tidal and nearshore areas (COTNA). The strategic plan will present an evaluation of existing datasets through a grading system of bathymetry, topography, seamless topo-bathy, orthoimagery and the shoreline vector. The strategic plan will formally present results of a stakeholder spatial prioritization survey conducted in early 2019. Drawing on the grading system and survey results, the strategic plan will be a roadmap to meet stakeholder requirements and mapping priorities for the longest state shoreline in the United States.
2019 Coastal Mapping Prioritization Survey Preliminary Results
The Prioritization Survey was conducted in early 2019 and over 40 individuals or combined stakeholders from state, federal, and local agency liaisons, native corporations and associations, non-profit and professional organizations, and academia. Survey participants were given coins to represent the level of priority for specific cells (within a Hexagon Grid) along the coast of Alaska. Along with a selected amount of coins, participants ranked (1st, 2nd, 3rd) up to three priority data types from a short list (including: bathymetry, seamless topobathy, digital elevation model (DEM), digital surface model (DSM), orthoimagery, and shoreline vector). Preliminary results can be viewed and explored in the below story map.
Alaska Coastal Mapping Summits
On February 9, 2018, AOOS and the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) hosted the second Alaska Coastal Mapping Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. Approximately 100 attendees from federal, state, local government, native corporations, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector participated. Presentations covered a wide range of topics including an overview of the upcoming 3D Nation Study; an update on NOAA Charting Plans, 2018 coastal imagery, and a new Monthly Water Clarity Atlas; a review of Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Workshops hosted by Adapt Alaska; federal geospatial contracting opportunities at the USGS and NOAA, and private sector perspectives on mapping opportunities in Alaska. For the complete agenda, breakout discussion questions and pdf versions of presentations, see the link below.
2018 Alaska Coastal Mapping Summit photograph.