Why is it important?

Marine habitats are important habitats for life in the coastal zone. It is also one of the key indicators of ecological status and environmental state of water bodies and therefore widely used in reporting related to e.g. the EU Water Framework Directive and the Birds Directive and as input in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s).

With this project a first-ever complete baseline of the spatial distribution will be created which will allow for a future assessment of any changes of the coastal environment.

Project highlights:

Using satellite data, machine learning and radiative transfer modelling to accurately extract detailed information about marine habitats

Integration of various data sources (in-situ, satellite and models) to provide a more complete and holistic description of the coastal zone

Project outputs will be made openly and freely available providing a baseline for future assessments of changes in the ecological status on national to local scale

In more detail..

DHI GRAS has been awarded a grant from the VELUX FOUNDATION to conduct a first-ever nationwide mapping of the coastal submerged aquatic vegetation (eelgrass and macroalgae) in Denmark. Based on advanced radiative transfer modelling and machine learning techniques, optical satellite data is used to create a 10 m national map of these important coastal habitats. The project runs from 2018 to 2019.

The results will be made publicly available to stakeholders active in the coastal zone, including authorities, coastal planners, engineering companies and environmental consultants.

The free and open access approach is part of an active wish from the VELUX FOUNDATION and DHI GRAS to expand our knowledge of the coastal zone processes and environmental state.

These are the core elements of the project:

  • Advanced radiative transfer modelling and machine learning techniques used to create a nationwide map of the coastal zone submerged vegetation in 10m spatial resolution
  • A first-ever complete national baseline of the coastal zone submerged vegetation will be established
  • The output will be made available to stakeholders under free and open access conditions

VELUX FONDEN:

In 2018, VELUX FONDEN granted approx. EUR 35 million. ​VELUX FONDEN (a part of THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) is a philanthropic foundation that supports scientific, cultural, social and environmental purposes.

Furthermore, the foundation supports projects relating to active senior citizens and research in gerontology and ophthalmology. All grant areas share the purpose of promoting the democratic society of Denmark on an informed, inclusive and sustainable basis.