High-Resolution Mapping of National Mangrove Cover for Belize Using Google Earth Engine

Authors: Jordan R. Cissell*, Samford University, Steven W.J. Canty, Smithsonian Marine Station, Michael K. Steinberg, University of Alabama, Lorae' T. Simpson, Florida Oceanographic Society
Topics: Remote Sensing, Coastal and Marine, Environment
Keywords: Belize; mangrove; remote sensing; Google Earth Engine
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In this poster, we present the highest-resolution-available (10-m) national map of mangrove forested area for Belize. We created the map using Google Earth Engine-based supervised classification of Sentinel-2 satellite imagery from 2020. The mangrove forests of Belize are foundational ecosystems for biodiversity and ecosystem services within the Mesoamerican Reef ecoregion (MAR), and they are increasingly threatened by human activity and sea level rise. Much of Belize’s mangrove forested area is on small offshore cayes and has therefore not been documented in previous, coarser-scale (30-m or coarser) national inventories. Therefore, this project presents the most comprehensive and accurate national map of Belize’s mangroves currently available, and it will be an important baseline for monitoring future changes to these important ecosystems. This project is the first stage of an ongoing effort to map mangroves across the entire MAR, including the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.

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