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With the recent proliferation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the availability of high-resolution satellite imagery, a new generation of coastal resource information has become available. The Guam Coastal Atlas was developed using these technologies and includes benthic habitat maps created using satellite imagery and a GIS. Marine preserve boundaries mapped using the Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as other information relevant to the management of Guam's coastal resource are also provided. The Guam Coastal Atlas Web site, which is also available as a printed product and as a CD-ROM, was developed to provide this useful information to coastal resource managers, researchers, students, fisherman, recreational users, and the general public.

benthic habitat map
black and white shoreline map

The Guam Coastal Atlas is an updated version of the Atlas of the Reefs and Beaches of Guam, created by R. H. Randall and L. G. Eldredge in 1976. The Atlas of the Reefs and Beaches of Guam was developed using hand-drawn sketches of the coastline derived from aerial photographs (see map to the left). With time, some of the information presented in the 1976 atlas became outdated and the need for providing the latest information about the coastal areas of Guam arose. The Guam Coastal Atlas is not intended to replace entirely the previous atlas, but rather should be considered supplemental to the original publication. While the previous atlas focused on shoreline features and presented limited benthic habitat information, the Guam Coastal Atlas focuses primarily upon detailed benthic habitat maps and does not include information about shoreline features (see above map).

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