Alternate Title

A Characterization of the Shallow-Water Coral Reefs and Associated Habitats of Puerto Rico

Document Type



We mapped bottom types and shelf zones of 1600 km2 or about one fourth of Puerto Rico’s insular shelf from the shoreline to the shelf edge. Overall map accuracy for these bottom types is estimated as 93.6% correct. Maps were produced through visual interpretation of benthic features using orthorectified aerial photographs within a Geographic Information System with customizable software. The maps are one component of an integrated mapping and monitoring program underway by NOAA and its partners in the US Coral Reef Task Force to assess all US reef ecosystems. Maps are currently being used to enhance coastal research and management activities in Puerto Rico such as fisheries assessments and designation of important fish habitats.

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