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Layer: Saipan (2016) (ID: 129)

Sub Layers: Name: Saipan (2016)

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Type: Group Layer

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Description: The lagoon along the western shore of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) encompasses a diverse coral ecosystem that plays a leading role in attracting nearly half a million tourists annually to the Island for snorkeling, diving, parasailing, kayaking, and use of personal watercraft. The lagoon must also accommodate many other uses such as port operations at Tanapag Harbor and traditional fishing practices that are important to the local culture. To manage this abundance of activity the Government of the CNMI has developed the Saipan Lagoon Use Management Plan (SLUMP). Understanding the present spatial distribution and extent of important lagoon habitats and overlaying the potential human activities taking place within them is an effective means for considering alternative management scenarios, minimizing user conflicts, ensuring public safety, and preventing environmental degradation. The main objective of this project was to produce new, highly detailed maps of the extent and distribution of the bottom features within Saipan Lagoon. The project was based on high resolution WorldView II satellite imagery collected post-Typhoon Soudelor, use of ground validation data from throughout the lagoon, modelling the probability of occurrence of individual substrate and cover types, combining model layers into a classified benthic map, and thematic as well as spatial accuracy-assessment using independent field data. This work was conducted in close partnership with CNMI’s Bureau of Environmental Quality and NOAA’s Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center CNMI Field Office. These products are freely available for download from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (

Copyright Text: NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/MSE/Biogeography Branch

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