Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Assessment of Seagrass Critical Habitat in Response to Dramatic Shoreline Change Resulting from the 2005 Hurricane Season for the Chandeleur Islands
UNO-PIES mapped seagrasses at the North Chandeleur Islands using remotely sensed imagery acquired in January 2005 (pre-storm events) and October 2005 (post-storm events). Our goal was to estimate total seagrass cover just prior to and following the 2005 hurricane season and then assess any change over that time. The results of the change analysis show that there were 524 acres of seagrass bed loss in the study area over this period of time. This change represents a 20% decrease in the total seagrass acreage existing in the study area. The North Chandeleur Islands experienced a 70% loss of land during the 2005 hurricane season. Given that this area bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina's destructive forces, the seagrass beds here proved remarkably resilient. The results indicate seagrass bed loss occurred primarily where no protective barrier island was left in October 2005, though proved sustainable where only minimal emergent land existed following the 2005 storms.