Damage Assessment


  • Physical damage from boating activities are a major cause of disturbance to coral reef and seagrass communities worldwide

  • SWAPS can provide an ideal platform to assess damage and recovery patterns by:

    1) Documenting the precise location of impacted resources (e.g., seagrass scars, ship groundings)

    2) Providing the geospatial tools to assess the spatial extent of damage

    3) Quantifying the extent of damage accurately and remotely without causing additional disturbance to the resources and without the need to deploy specialized personnel

    4) Providing an objective, permanent visual record of damage patterns that can be used to assess recovery over time



Seagrass Scars


  • Physical damage caused by boat propellers of ship groundings are a major source of mortality ot seagrasses in the coastal lagoons of South Florida

  • Seagrass scars, especially those found in areas with strong currents or where significant damage to the root-rhyzome system has occurred, can take several years to recover

  • The location and dimension of scars (length and diameter) can be easily documented using the Diver SWaPS platform that collects combined GPS, depth, and visual information

  • The geo-coded images obtained with SWaPS can be easily incorporated into a GIS framework for display and mapping purposes



Ship Groundings


  • Physical damage caused by ship groundings is a major source of mortality to shallow coral reef communities of South Florida

  • Documenting the extent of physical damage caused by ship groundings is time-consuming and difficult to accomplish using divers and underwater tapes

  • The dimensions of grounding scars can be easily documented using the Diver SWaPS platform by following the outline of the injury from the surface that collects combined GPS, depth, and visual information

  • The geo-coded images obtained with SWaPS can be easily incorporated into a GIS framework for display and mapping purposes