Publication Date


Committee Chair

Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.
Victoria Kouyoumjian, M.B.A.


The Coastal Biophysical Inventory Database is the repository of the data gathered from a rapid assessment of approximately 161 km of the intertidal habitat managed by the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Coastal Biophysical Inventory Database is modeled after the “Alaska Coastal Resources Inventory and Mapping Database” and CoastWalker program of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The protocol and database were adapted for this effort to represent the features of the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area located along the northern central coast of California.

The database is an integration of spatial data and observation data entered and browsed through an interface designed to complement the methods of the observation protocol. The Coastal Biophysical Inventory (CBI) and Mapping Protocol is the methodology to collect and store repeatable observations of the intertidal zone to create a baseline of information useful for resource management and potentially assist damage assessment in the event of an oil spill. The inventory contributes to the knowledge needed for the conservation of coastal resources managed in the public’s trust.

The Coastal Biophysical Inventory Database is a Microsoft Access 2003 format relational database with a customized data entry interface programmed in Microsoft Access Visual Basic for Applications. The interface facilitates the entry, storage and relation of substrate, biology, photographs, and other field observations. Data can be browsed or queried using query tools common to the Microsoft Access software or using custom spatial query tools built into the interface with ESRI MapObjects LT 2.0 ActiveX COM objects.

The Coastal Biophysical Inventory’s GIS data set is useful for collecting, analyzing and reporting field observations about the intertidal zone. The GIS data set is linked to the observation data set through a unique number, the Segment ID, by using the relate tools found in ArcGIS (9.2-10). The Segment ID is a non-repeating number that references a section of coastline that is delineated by the type and form of the substrate observed. The Segment ID allows connection to the biological observations and other observation records such as photos or the original data sheets. Through ArcGIS connections to the observation database using the Segment ID, summaries of biodiversity or habitat can be made by location.

The Coastal Biophysical Inventory has completed its initial goals to assess the coastline of two National Parks. The data set collected provides a snapshot of information and the database allows for future observations to be recorded. It provides coastal resource managers a broad insight and orientation to the intertidal resources managed by the National Park Service.


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