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Purpose of This CD

To properly manage our nation's coastal resources, we must first understand the coastal zone. Accurate beach surveying is an important component of management, but this basic surveying information can be difficult to obtain. Shorelines are constantly changing in response to wind, waves, hurricanes, beach nourishment, and development. Beach survey data must be accurate and easy to update, because this information is what many states use to both determine where development can take place and assess post-storm damages.

The goal of NOAA's Coastal Services Center is to bring new technology to coastal zone managers. "New Technologies for Coastal Mapping" was developed by the Coastal Remote Sensing Program of NOAA's Coastal Services Center. The Center is adapting technology developed by NASA to map polar ice caps to benefit coastal zone managers. NASA remote sensing systems can greatly enhance the amount of data available to coastal managers to assess current beaches and shorelines. This information is highly accurate, cost effective, and soon will be widely available. Product developers at the Center are adapting this technology to many other uses, such as mapping buildings, erosion control structures, piers, and roads.

Aircraft laser beach mapping and satellite hurricane observations are the two primary remote sensing applications profiled in this CD. These technologies provide data regarding high resolution coastal topography, hurricane impacts, ocean turbidity, and sea-surface temperature. Educational information and satellite imagery depicting hurricanes that hit the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico in the past decade are also included.

This CD illustrates an important role that remote sensing can play for coastal zone managers. These professionals are encouraged to contact the Coastal Services Center to investigate partnering in this coastal mapping effort. The Center is soliciting reactions from coastal states regarding both use of this data and the Center's coastal remote sensing efforts.

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