Coastal and marine ecosystems serve key roles for carbon storage, nutrients and materials cycling, as well as reservoirs of biodiversity. They also provide ecosystems services such as sustenance for millions of people, coastal protection against wave action, and recreational activities. Remote sensing of coastal and marine ecosystems is particularly challenging. Up to 90% of the signal received by the sensors in orbit comes from the atmosphere. Additionally, dissolved and suspended constituents in the water column attenuate most of the light received through absorption or scattering. When it comes to retrieving information about shallow water ecosystems, even in the clearest waters under the clearest skies, less than 10% of the signal originates from the water and its bottom surface. Users, particularly those with little remote sensing experience, stand to benefit from this training covering some of the difficulties associated with remote sensing of coastal ecosystems, particularly beaches and benthic communities such as coral reefs and seagrass.
Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:
– Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
– Target 14.2: By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans