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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Florida Sea Grant’s Manatee Awareness and Protection Resource (MAPR) Website Now Available

The Florida Sea Grant at the University of Florida has published the Manatee Awareness and Protection Resource (MAPR) website, an "interactive map that displays and describes spatial data relevant to manatee protection".

The interactive mapping application incorporates Lee County as the study area and includes a variety of GIS layers pertaining to manatee protection such as:

Environment - Mangrove Forests, Seagrass Beds, Warm Water Aggregation Points, and Freshwater Sources

Manatees - Manatee Protection Zones, Manatee Water Depth, Manatee Sightings, and Manatee Mortality Locations

Boats - Boating Destinations, Boat Sightings, Boating Routes, Marinas & Ramps, and Boating Channels

"Over the years, researchers have collected much information on where and when manatees migrate, forage, rest, and use warm water refuges, as well as where encounters with boats have occurred. In many of these same areas, other studies have amassed data on boating populations and usage patterns from mail surveys (Sidman et al., 2005) and airborne videography (Gorzelany, 1998). Although the study purposes were often unrelated to issues of manatee and boat interactions, all of these data are in GIS formats and ready for further analysis, and data collection continues."

In somewhat related news, the Florida Sea Grant also has a number of Open Funding Opportunities available in early 2008.