Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP)
The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and other community stakeholders to facilitate the collection of high-resolution Florida coastal seafloor data, from the shore to the continental shelf. The goal is to have a comprehensive high-resolution seafloor dataset of Florida’s coastal waters by 2028.
To address the increasing need for coastal seafloor data, the USGS and the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO), in 2017, spearheaded the Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP), which is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and institutions to assess existing data, and develop a prioritization and strategy for filling gaps with high resolution data for all of Florida’s coastal waters from the shore to the shelf edge. To accomplish this goal, a steering committee composed of four Federal and four State agencies are working together closely to coordinate ongoing and future planned mapping efforts, and engage with stakeholders through workshops and other communications to prioritize new data collection and set consistent mapping standards.
FWRI's GIS Team has been actively involved with the FCMaP effort by providing technical support and web hosting services. FWRI also developed a customized GIS-based prioritization tool that allows users to identify specific areas of highest priority, indicate desired ancillary data needs (beyond elevation), and justify why the identified areas are priorities.
The present focus of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program is on modern, high-resolution bathymetric and coastal topobathymetric data, which can be immediately used to update navigational charts and identify navigation hazards, provide fundamental baseline data for scientific research, and provide information for use by emergency managers and responders. Derivative products include identifying sand resources for beach nourishment, creating vastly improved models for coastal erosion and flooding, identifying coastal springs, and creating benthic habitat maps. The uses and applications of the data generated could grow over time. The process of creating a steering committee and technical team, conducting an inventory and gaps analysis, soliciting feedback from the stakeholder and partner communities, and developing a prioritization process has provided a framework on which a successful program can develop a sustainable funding strategy that may be an investment the citizens of Florida could benefit from for decades.