TO: California Ocean and Coastal Community

FROM: John Laird, Secretary for Natural Resources

DATE: March 19, 2012

RE: Coastal Mapping (LiDAR) Data Available

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is pleased to announce that new high-resolution coastal elevation data sets are available to support the production of maps for coastal management applications such as assessment of vulnerability from severe storms, sea-level rise and coastal erosion.

The OPC provided $2.75 million to support this highly collaborative project, which has resulted in detailed elevation data available for the California coastline, including San Francisco Bay thanks to the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center and the U.S. Geological Survey. The project area covered 3,779 square miles. The data was collected using LiDAR, a state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, in conjunction with high resolution aerial photography.

This project was made possible due to a partnership between the OPC, California Coastal Conservancy, NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey, Army Corps of Engineers, and our industry partners for this project – Fugro EarthData, Inc. and Dewberry.

The LiDAR data are currently available online for the entire coastline, with digital elevation models and aerial photographs expected to be available by the end of March.

All of these data sets can be downloaded from NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Digital Coast website at

Detailed descriptions of the LiDAR data and digital elevation models are available at and

For more information on the California Coastal Mapping Program, please visit our website:
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