The North Slope of Alaska lies on the north side of Brooks Range and includes extensive coastlines along the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea. These shorelines are fundamentally different from most of the coastline in the US as they are consolidated by permafrost and subject to periglacial processes, including cryogenic processes onshore and nearshore seasonal pack ice formation. These coasts are highly dynamic and undergoing some of the fastest retreat rates in North America (Gibbs and Richmond n.d.). Proposed offshore oil development activities in the Chukchi Sea coast and existing offshore drilling islands along the Beaufort Sea coast pose environmental risks for these coasts. Environmental concerns include increased air and sea traffic, accidental oil spills, and potential port developments. BOEM requires up-‐to-‐date, digital mapping that can be used to systematically assess these environmental risks. The ShoreZone coastal habitat mapping system provides an attribute-‐rich, geographic information system (GIS) that can be used to delineate habitats for habitat modeling of a wide variety of coastal species and communities. Associated web-‐posted imagery plus web-‐accessible spatial data describing coastal habitats allows easy access by both researchers and regulators.
Supplemental Info: None Provided.