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Environmental & GIS Services

Oil Spill Response & Crisis Management:
Real-time Oil Distribution, Quantity & Trajectory Mapping
SCAT and NRDA Field Team Support
Oil Recovery& Response Resource Allocation Support
Land-based Oil & Chemical Spill Mapping

Natural Resource Monitoring:

Kelp & Eel Grass Mapping
Intertidal & Subtidal Substrate Mapping
Sediment Fate & Transport
Wetland Mapping

SeaView: Fisheries Support Services

Environmental Analysis:
Wetland Restoration Planning & Monitoring
Water Quality & Runoff Monitoring
Change Detection
Thermal Discharge Tracking
Dredging & Disposal Monitoring
Environmental Impact Assessments

Resource Management & Litigation Support:
Environmental Damage Assessments
Expert Witness Testimony
Restoration Progress Assessments
Annual Natural Resource Surveys

Geodatabase Design & Creation
GIS System Maintenance for Emergency Response
Spatial Analysis
Spatial Visualization

Grant Funded Research & Development




Environmental Analysis

Wetland Restoration Planning & Monitoring
Ocean Imaging has a long history of mapping marshes and wetlands, in many cases down to individual plant species with 25-30cm resolution aerial imagery.  We have particular expertise in providing initial data delineating native and non-native species for restoration planning, and monitoring the various restoration phases and long-term progress. We have also mapped and assessed damage to wetland areas following such events as oil spills and hurricanes.

Wetland Mapping: Carpinteria Estuary, CA
Wetland Mapping: San Quentin, Mexico

Wetland Mapping: Carpinteria Estuary, CA

Wetland Mapping: San Quentin Lagoon, Mexico

Water Quality & Runoff Monitoring
Ocean Imaging pioneered the use of satellite and aerial imagery for monitoring wastewater outfalls with NASA research funds in the 90s. Since then, OI has been monitoring several outfalls as part of regional water quality monitoring programs mandated by their discharge permits. Our technology helped separate the potential  effects of the outfall plumes from other sources of polluted runoff nearby and even aided in the settlement of lawsuits related to one of the outfalls. Our image analyses are done in conjunction with traditional field sampling and help interpret the field as well as interpolate them in time and space.

Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Shoreline, San Diego, CA
Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Outfall, San Diego, CA
Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Outfall, San Diego, CA
Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Outfall - San Diego, CA
Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Outfall-San Diego, CA
Water Quality Monitoring: South Bay Outfall -San Diego, CA

Change Detection
Many of Ocean Imaging’s operational and research projects utilize customized techniques to detect changes over time through multiple image data sets.  OI's expertise spans from using several satellite images collected over a single or more days to detect changes in ocean current and plankton patterns, to analysis of changes in regional vegetation over periods of decades.  OI has also utilized our aerial sensors to help assess changes in ground cover and plant health as the result of oil and chemical spills. Typically, we image the affected area and a nearby unaffected “control” area with the same ecological characteristics, and re-image both areas several weeks later. Statistical analysis of changes in such parameters as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the image pairs are then used to assess natural temporal changes affecting the control area versus any abnormalities in vegetation affected by the spill.

Sediment Fate: Tijuana, Mexico
Change Detection: Leviathon Creek Mine
Change Detection: Reef - Pacific Beach, CA

Change Detection: NDVI

Change Detection: Vegetation Cover Change
Change Detection: Interannually Exposed Reef

Thermal Discharge Tracking

Ocean Imaging's thermal IR aerial system allows us to discern differences in soil or water temperature as small as 0.08°C.  OI has utilized the imagery to track warm water discharges from powerplants into the ocean, and even mapped potential areas of groundwater seepage on land.

Thermal Discharge Tracking: Encina Power Plant, Encina, CA
Thermal Discharge Tracking: Encina Power Plant -Encina, CA

Dredging and Disposal Monitoring

Ocean Imaging has utilized both, high resolution aerial and broad-area coverage satellite imagery to monitor the dispersal of dredged material being disposed of offshore, as well as aided the analysis of particle size effects on the loss of beach-deposited sand meant for beach replenishment.

Dredging & Disposal Monitoring: San Dieguito Lagoon, Del Mar, CA

Dredging & Disposal Monitoring: San Dieguito Lagoon, Del Mar, CA


Environmental Impact  Assessments

Ocean Imaging has provided EIAs both independently and as partners with other experts.  These include both terrestrial and ocean areas of interest.  One example of an ocean-related EIA was the evaluation of potential effects of a rock jetty extension on nearby surf grass beds.  Aerial multispectral imaging was used to map the beds and existing sand distributions, and those data were, in turn, used as inputs to a sand redistribution model for the jetty extension.