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Maryland Baseline Studies: Methods
Maryland Baseline Studies: Methods
The boat-based and digital video aerial wildlife surveys of the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies project were expanded in 2013 to collect natural resource data offshore of Maryland. These data could be incorporated into future decision making for the state.

Download Wildlife Studies Offshore of Maryland. This 8-page summary publication represents an overview of results from the final technical report for the Maryland-focused study, and features survey results and case studies on marine mammals, sea turtles, and wintering seabirds. The Executive Summary for the technical report is also available here.

Additional results and case studies can be found in the 32-page synthesis report for the mid-Atlantic regional study, Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Studies: Distribution and Abundance of Wildlife along the Eastern Seaboard, 2012-2014.

 

Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies and Maryland Projects

The Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies (MABS) Project was funded by the US Department of Energy in 2011, in order to identify important wildlife areas, data gaps, and approaches for collecting and incorporating natural resource data into decision making. The study design included two years of boat-based and high resolution digital video aerial surveys across the study area, with higher density aerial survey transects within three federally designated wind energy areas (WEAs).

During the second year of the study, in 2013, existing boat-based surveys were expanded into Maryland state waters, and existing video aerial surveys into areas west and south of the Maryland WEA. An additional aerial survey in Maryland waters was also conducted in August 2013. Results presented here include data from both projects.

 

Study Methods

We used two years of boat-based surveys and high resolution digital video aerial surveys to document animal movements, distributions, abundance, and habitat use (conducted by HiDef Aerial Surveying, Ltd., City University of New York, and BRI). Combining these methods resulted in a more comprehensive understanding of wildlife patterns in the region.

Statistical models were developed to identify ecological drivers of these patterns and predict important habitat and aggregation areas (by North Carolina State, Duke, and Oregon State Universities, and BRI).

 
The study areas for the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Study and Maryland projects, with Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) and boat and aerial survey transects. The Maryland study area includes data from both the regional and state-focused projects. Fine-scale aerial transects (20% coverage) were carried out within the WEAs, as well as offshore of Maryland as part of the state-focused study.
The study areas for the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Study and Maryland projects, with Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) and boat and aerial survey transects. The Maryland study area includes data from both the regional and state-focused projects. Fine-scale aerial transects (20% coverage) were carried out within the WEAs, as well as offshore of Maryland as part of the state-focused study.
 

For More Information

For more information, see Chapters 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8 in the technical report.
 
Photo Credits: Header image © BRI-Jonathan Fiely
Biodiversity Research Institute