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Delaware Bay and River Benthic Mapping Project


Benthic mapping on Delaware BayThrough an integrated effort by the Delaware Coastal Programs, the University of Delaware, and Delaware State University, a benthic and sub-bottom imaging project to identify and map the benthic habitat and sub-bottom sediments of Delaware Bay and River was initiated.

This effort has resulted in many major milestones, which include: mapping over 350 square miles, identifing the spatial extent and relative density of the oyster and corbicula beds, facilitating a greater understanding of the local and regional sediment distribution patterns and pathways, locating key habitats for several species, and starting to understand the relative impact that humans have upon the bay bottom and its living resources. Most importantly integrating the bottom and sub-bottom sediment with species tracking information, in a 3D GIS environment, has provided a new opportunity to assess the habitat relationship between Atlantic Sturgeon and several key regions in the Delaware River.

This project integrates the use of three types of acoustical systems: Roxann Seabed Classification System, CHIRP sub-bottom profiling, and multi-beam bathymetric mapping. Verification of the acoustic data with bottom and sub-bottom sediments is performed through the collection of grab and core samples and underwater video images.  


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