PALATKA, Fla., March 14, 2022 ― Sharing similar goals to conserve and manage natural resources, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering to acquire topobathymetric data (an underwater map) for the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).
Dewberry, who was contracted by the partners, will collect data throughout the month of March using a plane equipped with a Teledyne Geospatial CZMIL SuperNova, a bathymetric LiDAR sensor that can penetrate over 240 feet of water. The sensor will simultaneously measure and record the elevation of land and depth of submerged land within a 616 square mile area.
The current bathymetry was created in the late 1990s. Since then, the seagrass in the IRL has decreased significantly, which may have allowed sediments within the lagoon to shift.
“Having the updated data will assist the District in multiple efforts within the lagoon,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Environmental Scientist Dr. Chuck Jacoby. “Not only will updated bathymetry help create better models to predict storm surge and flooding, but it also will assist in planning for increased resilience in coastal communities experiencing rising sea levels.”
Shifted sediment could impact how the District approaches future projects to improve water quality and restore habitats, including efforts to increase seagrass cover throughout the IRL.
Find an example of how LiDAR works on the District’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/MUMCMtsabXU.
To learn more about the District’s efforts to restore the lagoon, visit the District’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/waterways/indian-river-lagoon.