Water Quality and Benthic Habitat Observations for Enhanced Understanding and Sustainable Management of Oyster Reefs in Mississippi Sound
Mississippi State University
Principal Investigators: Robert Moorhead (Lead), Padmanava Dash, Adam Skarke
Abstract: This project will use field sampling and remote sensing data collected from traditional platforms as well as novel autonomous aerial and marine vehicles to quantify the spatiotemporal variability of water quality and benthic habitat conditions at oyster reef sites in Mississippi Sound. Specifically, we will: (1) Develop robust predictive algorithms to relate in situ water quality parameters at oyster reefs in Mississippi Sound to remotely sensed reflectance data collected with satellites and unmanned aerial systems, (2) create benthic habitats maps of seabed sedimentary characteristics proximal to oyster reefs in Mississippi Sound through the collection and synthesis of physical samples and acoustic reflectivity data, and (3) evaluate geologic controls on the location of submarine groundwater discharge and resulting modification of water quality parameters proximal to oyster reefs in Mississippi Sound through the collection and synthesis of seismic and isotopic tracer data.