A citizen scientist project
The state of Florida, USA, is home to approximately 600,000 acres of mangrove forests. This diverse wetland ecosystem helps stabilize the coastline, maintains biodiversity, and removes carbon from the environment.
Local community volunteers, in partnership with the Saint Leo University, dedicate their time to collect visual data and contribute as citizen scientists in this ongoing research project.
Using geo-referenced imagery to monitor mangrove shorelines
One of the main goals of the project is to produce reports to help scientists visually evaluate changes in shorelines over time. To achieve this, volunteers travel along the shoreline while simultaneously capturing video footage of their path and recording their location. This is sent back to the lab where the video is converted to thousands of one-second still images and matched to a corresponding GPS point. A scientist then reviews this output and shares the final results.
This task proved to be manual, time consuming, and prone to human error. MangroveWatch needed an efficient way to transform videos into a map for easy analysis.