Welcome to PIBHMC

The Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC) is tasked with the delineation of the benthic habitat of coral reef ecosystems throughout the U.S. Pacific Islands, including the Hawaiian and Mariana archipelagos, American Samoa and the remote, U.S.-affiliated islands such as Johnston and Palmyra Atolls. Other groups have developed shallow-water benthic habitat maps using satellite-based techniques that are best suited for shallow-water habitats in less than 20 meters of water. PIBHMC uses acoustic and optical techniques to extend those shallow-water maps into deeper waters where satellite and diver-based techniques are not feasible.

Accurate, high-resolution habitat maps are essential for effective management of coral reefs. Products created by PIBHMC provide resource managers with comprehensive habitat maps on which to base decisions about Pacific coral reef ecosystems. PIBHMC personnel support mapping missions on NOAA Ships Hi‘ialakai and Oscar Elton Sette and operate the NOAA Fisheries survey launch R/V AHI. The data collected during these missions are used to create a set of standard map products that are available to resource management agencies, researchers and the general public.

PIBHMC is supported by annual grants from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. Additional support for work in the Hawaiian archipelago is provided by a contract with the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (CEROS).

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at:NOAA logo.

    1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176
    Honolulu, HI 96818
  • Ph: (808) 725-5483
  • Email: pibhmc@soest.hawaii.edu

Note: The Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC) is funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the content and views expressed on this web site are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the Department of Commerce.