It is important to note that the committee did find examples where communication, collaboration, and cooperation were clearly leading to enhanced efficiency and the avoidance of redundant activities (e.g., see Box 6.1). Examples include collaboration by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the Bathy/Topo/Shoreline Demonstration Project, efforts by NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and USGS to maximize survey
Long Island, New York
In Long Island Sound, there is a 23-year history of cooperative State of Connecticut/USGS/Minerals Management Service/NOAA data collection involving seismic and sidescan sonar surveys; bottom grabs and coring; and bottom reconnaissance using divers, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and submersibles. Nine potential study areas have been established by producing continuous sidescan sonar mosaics. Most of the data that have been collected as part of this effort are available on the Internet.a
Several derivative products from this effort have also been published and are available on the Internet.b There are very few requests for the data used to produce these products or for the background related to the sidescan mosaic areas, but there is extensive and growing use of the derivative maps for permitting, resource management, and resource protection applications.
Stellwagen Bank, Jeffreys Ledge, Massachusetts and New Hampshire
NOAA-OCS, NOAA Fisheries (formerly the National Marine Fisheries Service), the Sanctuaries Program, USGS, and state and local authorities all have great interest in the region from north of Cape Cod seaward to an area known as Jeffreys Ledge. This region includes the approaches to Boston and Portsmouth harbors, Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary, and many rich fishing grounds, including several regions that have been closed to fishing by NOAA Fisheries. Each of these organizations was planning independent mapping programs, but now, as a result of a series of meetings and conference calls, all of the mapping efforts (including contract surveys to the private sector) are being coordinated so that there will be minimal overlap (except where desired for repeat of comparison surveys) and maximum efficiency.