Yucatan and Lizard Island

The Caribbean site selected for both seagrass and coral reef service trials is the reef and lagoon area stretching for approximately 25 km south of Cancun to Puerto Morelos on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. This site has been chosen for its extensive seagrass beds that have been well studied by one of our local user organisations and for which a change in seagrass cover is understood to have occurred in recent years. In addition the site is a National Park and the Mesoamerican barrier reef provides important services to tourism and coastal protection. The total area of interest is less than 200 km2, in line with the SOW. The Yucatán coral reef and seagrass service trials have been developed with guidance from local users the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology (ICML) and the Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park (Puerto Morelos National Marine Park).

The second site for the seagrass and coral reef service trials is in the South West Pacific, it is the reef and lagoon surrounding Lizard Island which is part of Northern end of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.The total area of interest is around 120 km2. The service trials here have been guided by the Australian Museum (lease-holders on Lizard Island) and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service who are responsible for the management of the site. Tourism is a major economic activity in the region and the island has a resort. In addition there is a scientific research lab on the island.

Earth Observation Services

The marine cases studies in Yucatan and Lizard Island are chosen to demonstrate the capability of EO-services to support Ecosystem Service Valuation in tropical marine environments. The Puerto Morelos Marine Park in North Yucatán, Mexico, is a National Park and the Mesoamerican barrier reef provides important services to tourism and coastal protection. The total area of interest is less than 200 km2. Lizard Island at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. is part of the World’s largest reef system, which provides services with direct economic value such as fisheries and tourism. Area of interest coverage is 120 km2.

There are four distinct product groups derived at each of the marine trial sites:

  1. Open ocean (deep water) biophysical parameters. These contribute the reef and lagoon environment, and in some cases (such as temperature) can be related to stress
  2. Bathymetric mapping
  3. Coral reef and seagrass habitat classification
  4. Change assessment by means of recent and historical (~20 years previous) habitat classification

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