The Reserve System intends to monitor long-term trends in the geographic extent of habitats in relation to local sea level change and anthropogenic stress from adjacent watersheds. The Reserve System has developed a habitat mapping and change plan to support research and monitoring on the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic pressures from reserve watersheds on reserve resources. The plan calls for each reserve to map critical habitats over time consistent with site-based habitat mapping and change plans using the standard Reserve Classification System which slightly modifies the Cowarden scheme for intertidal and sub-tidal habitats and integrates the Anderson Scheme for uplands for reserve-scale high resolution mapping. Watershed scale mapping relies on the Coastal Services Center’s Coastal Change Assessment Program (C-CAP) classification scheme.
Reserve boundaries, associated watershed boundaries, digital elevation models of reserve watersheds, canopy cover and impervious surfaces in reserve watersheds, and land use and land cover and change data are available on the Central Data Management Office (CDMO) web site. As individual reserves complete base line maps of their habitats of perpetual interest for long-term change, these maps will be posted to the CDMO web site as well.
The Reserve System encourages the research and management community to utilize these maps as appropriate and to contact the GIS or research staff at individual reserves to obtain additional maps of reserve habitats that may be available .