The California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal/marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's State waters. The California Ocean Protection Council (COPC) authorized funds to establish the CSMP in 2007 (COPC, 2007) and assembled a team of experts from state and federal agencies, academia, and private industry to develop the best approach to mapping and classifying coastal and marine geologic habitats, while at the same time updating all nautical charts. Initiated in 2008, the CSMP has collected bathymetry (underwater topography) and backscatter data (providing insight into the geologic makeup of the seafloor) that are being turned into habitat and geologic base maps for all of California's State Waters (mean high water line out to three nautical miles). Although the CSMP was originally developed to support the design and monitoring of marine reserves through the Marine Life Protection Act [California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), 2007], accurate statewide mapping of the seafloor has also contributed significantly to these efforts:
Data collected during this project reveal the seafloor offshore of the California coast in unprecedented detail (for example, see the movie below) and provide an ecosystem context for the effective management of this precious marine resource.
Virtual fly-through over the seafloor of Central California near San Francisco as if the water was drained from the ocean. The movie flies over the seafloor from Bolinas to Pescadero in central California.
CSMP is a collaboration between State and Federal agencies, the academic community, and the private sector. Partners include: