This data product was created for the project titled: “Application of the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) to the Northwest Atlantic” which was partially funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and a joint collaborative project with The Nature Conservancy (Eastern Division Conservation Science), University of Rhode Island (Graduate School of Oceanography), and Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (Division of Marine Fisheries).
In the Northeast United States region, efforts are underway to better organize and integrate spatial marine data to support ocean planning and management efforts. An important step in this process is translating existing data with varying purposes, sources, methodologies, and optimal scales of application to a common language, so heterogeneous data can be viewed in a common, region-wide framework to better facilitate decision-making. The need for an inclusive and standardized approach to classifying marine habitats throughout the United States has resulted in the development of the Coastal Marine and Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). CMECS provides a common language in which the terminology of existing schemes can be consistently crosswalked to a common schema. This project tested the utility of the classification standard in crosswalking and mapping legacy classified benthic habitat data at the regional, subregional and local scales. The results of this project will be useful in understanding how the standard can be used to maximize the utility of existing data and in developing methods to aid in crosswalking. In this project we crosswalked 40 existing classification schemes to CMECS, and provided maps for a select few schemes/datasets. We also created a working list of Northwest Atlantic United States habitats representative of a wide range of marine environments throughout the region, and give recommendations for crosswalking and mapping challenges when using CMECS.
This dataset reflects the final regional scale CMECS crosswalk results for Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecoregional Assessment’s (NAMERA) Benthic Habitat Model.
Note: These final crosswalks/maps are results of our attempts at crosswalking NAMERA units to CMECS units and may at times incorrectly map/classify features. Please refer to the Final report for crosswalk details, methods and more information on crosswalks and limitations. Also see the supplementary crosswalk tables. Or visit http://nature.ly/EDcmecs for more information.
Please cite as: Weaver, K.J., E.J. Shumchenia, K.H. Ford, M.A. Rousseau, J.K. Greene, M.G. Anderson and J.W. King. 2013. Application of the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) to the Northwest Atlantic. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Division Conservation Science, Eastern Regional Office. Boston, MA. http://nature.ly/EDcmecs
**Legend key table attached**