There are 88 NPS park units designated as Ocean and Coastal Parks that encompass 11,000 shoreline miles and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lakes waters. Due to the large and complex nature of these park units, managing natural and cultural resources can be difficult. Benthic (meaning ocean floor or lake bottom) habitat maps are a spatially explicit way to identify submerged features.
Each spring since 1987, FWS staff have conducted the Four-Square-Mile Breeding Waterfowl Survey across five states and two FWS regions in the Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains. Part of the study includes the manual digitization of surface-water extent for approximately 75,000 wetlands on 2 mi x 2 mi sample plots to monitor wetland conditions and provide baseline data for modeling annual waterfowl distribution and abundance. In 2014, Habitat and Population Evaluation Team (HAPET) researchers began integrating new camera systems into the remote sensing protocol to collect