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Canadian SeaMap Program to Map Canadian Sea Floor and Lake Beds

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Our Canadian colleagues have embarked on a major initiative to map the bottom of all their adjacent seas, including their "inland sea" in the Great Lakes. This new venture is called the Seabed Resource Mapping Program, or SeaMap. The Canadian Hydrographic Service, Geological Survey of Canada (Dick Pickrill), Department of National Defense, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans are working together to develop the initiative. Kate Moran is the SeaMap project manager. The mapping will focus on seabed shape (studied via multibeam data), biology and habitats (via samples, photographs, and backscatter images), and geology (via samples and sub-bottom acoustic profiling) with all the data combined into one data set for interpretation.

This initiative is part of Canada's move toward integrated management of the oceans. Five planning meetings have been scheduled, and Peter Barnes attended the second, in Burlington, Ontario, where the SeaMap concept was presented to the Great Lakes management and research community for comment and input. (Subsequent meetings will be held in Pat Bay, British Columbia; Quebec City; and St. Johns, Newfoundland; the first meeting was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.)

Peter was invited to participate in recognition of his role in a bi-national Great Lakes mapping initiative and in recognition of the long-term interest of the USGS in ocean and aquatic mapping. Peter presented a summary of a joint effort by the United States and Canada to map all the Great Lakes. Looking beyond the Great Lakes, he emphasized a desire on the part of USGS and CMGP to collaborate with Canadian colleagues wherever possible, both geographically and technically.

The SeaMap coalition plans to complete their assessment and report by the end of summer and to have a funding proposal before the Canadian Government this fall. Peter has a copy of the concept paper he would be happy to share.

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