Shallow-water benthic habitats of Redfish Bay, Texas. Greens illustrate seagrass meadows, reds are mangrove areas, and yellow are unconsolidated sediments.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center's benthic cover data provide an inventory of nearshore aquatic habitats with a focus on living resources. Benthic-cover vector data sets capture the location, extent, general character, and spatial relationships of biological communities in shallow nearshore areas. These data were developed to support resource inventory activities and change detection efforts. They are useful for conservation planning, marine protected-area siting, and environmental monitoring.