|News Update|| |
Hexagon’s R-evolution expands its sustainability agenda to help protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems
Hexagon AB has announced R-evolution’s efforts to map the threatened seagrass meadows of the Caribbean islands, beginning with the coastal waters of the Bahamas. In collaboration with Beneath The Waves – a leading, global, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting marine environments – R-evolution is leveraging Hexagon’s airborne bathymetric LiDAR technologies to detect, map and capture critical details about this vital habitat, including its extent and composition.
Blue carbon ecosystems refer to coastal and marine vegetated habitats, such as seagrass meadows, salt marshes, and mangrove forests, that sequester and store carbon from the atmosphere and ocean. These powerful carbon sinks are rapidly disappearing in many parts of the world. Seagrass meadows, the most common among them, are crucial to solving environmental challenges yet remain among the least recognized and least protected ecological habitats.
As part of a long-term shark monitoring project to study and protect the oceans, Beneath The Waves discovered that tiger sharks spend a large portion of their life patrolling and foraging dense seagrass meadows. A combination of sensor tagged sharks, satellite data, marine vessel surveys and scuba divers drove the ongoing discovery and mapping of the extensive seagrass meadows of the Caribbean. But to protect and restore these blue carbon sinks, the findings must be validated with high positional accuracy and datasets that can provide efficient, year-on-year change detection and monitoring.
R-evolution is helping Beneath The Waves validate their findings by deploying survey aircraft geared with one of Hexagon’s airborne bathymetric LiDAR solutions, the Leica Chiroptera 4X. The airborne bathymetry solution enables the cost-effective, rapid survey of large areas—accurately mapping thousands of square kilometres of seabed habitats at up to 30 metres water depth in just a few days. The high-resolution point clouds and aerial imagery will allow Beneath The Waves to scale up their marine research.