Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched
a new Web site that offers free online maps of marine debris
in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The data is the product of
the NOAA Office of Coast Survey and Office of Response and
Restoration’s ongoing side-scan sonar surveys, which
began in September.
can access interactive maps of debris-laden waters in Mississippi,
Alabama and Louisiana. They can also view images and download
GPS coordinates of obstructions at http://gulfofmexico.marinedebris.noaa.gov/.
and Rita inflicted severe damage on the Gulf Coast. Even though
the surface looks calm, underwater debris poses a hazard to
vessel traffic and fishing gear. The site is designed to help
boaters avoid potential dangers and to update recreational
and commercial fishermen on the status of debris removal in
fishing grounds. In addition to assisting mariners, survey
information is being used to facilitate debris removal.
Sea Grant and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
are working with NOAA to promote the project.