Belize and Honduras Water Resources II

Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) derived using Landsat 8 OLI data on January 28th, 2019 off the coast of Belize City. Darker shades of blue indicate higher levels of CDOM, while lighter blue shades show lower levels of CDOM in the coastal and inland waters. Very high levels of CDOM can inhibit photosynthesis; thus, the visualization of CDOM allows coastal management to identify regions where reef health and water quality are at risk.

Keywords: Landsat 8, CDOM, Belize

Developing a Google Earth Engine Dashboard for Assessing Coastal Water Quality in the Belize and Honduras Barrier Reefs to Identify Adequate Waste Control and Inform Coastal Resource Monitoring and Management

The Mesoamerican reef is a biodiverse ecosystem that stretches more than 600 miles along four Central American coasts and is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. The national economies of Belize and Honduras heavily depend on the commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing services the reef supplies. While the reef has benefitted from sustainable collaborative management practices, ecosystem stress resulting from the destruction of coastal habitats and overfishing threatens its diverse communities and ecological functions. The Belize & Honduras Water Resources II team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory partnered with the Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (Honduras), the Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (Belize), and the Wildlife Conservation Society to continue developing the Optical Reef and Coastal Area Assessment (ORCAA) tool in Google Earth Engine to monitor and evaluate water quality changes and advise coastal management decisions. The tool incorporates Earth observations from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument (MSI), and Aqua and Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). ORCAA outputs maps and time series graphs of turbidity, sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a, and colored dissolved organic matter concentrations from 2013 onward, which our partners will use to identify reef degradation, pass coastal resource regulations, and establish protected zones along the reef. These maps will better enable our partners to address declining water quality conditions through policy initiatives and maintain the environmental and economic health of the region.

Project Video:

Coastal Coding

California — JPL
Fall 2019
Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (Honduras)
Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (Belize)
Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana, ComisiĆ³n Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo
Wildlife Conservation Society
NASA Earth Observations
Landsat 8 OLI
Sentinel-2 MSI
Hayley Pippin (Project Lead)
Arbyn Olarte
Roxana Pilot
Vanessa Valenti
Dr. Christine Lee (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)
Dr. Juan Torres-Perez (Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, NASA Ames Research Center)
Dr. Emil Cherrington (University of Alabama in Huntsville)
Dr. Deepak Mishra (University of Georgia)
Benjamin Page (University of Minnesota, Water Resources Center)