This webinar originally aired on 16 May 2013.

The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) provides a comprehensive national framework for organizing information about coasts and oceans and their living systems. This framework accommodates the physical, biological, and chemical data that collectively define coastal and marine ecosystems. The recent endorsement of CMECS by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is an important step in facilitating development of regionally consistent spatial data and integrating data derived using various technologies. While some users will employ CMECS at the outset of their projects, for many others CMECS will form the unifying framework for incorporating existing spatial data classified according to other systems. To facilitate this process, NOAA Coastal Services Center has developed a tool which imports benthic cover data classified using the System for Classification of Habitats in Estuarine and Marine Environments (SCHEME) and produces a CMECS geodatabase as an output product. This tool functions in an ESRI environment and can be adapted to work with other classification systems. This presentation will highlight the CMECS data model, demonstrate the tool’s functionality, describe the cross-walking process, and show how it can be adapted to other commonly used data. Read more about CMECS at

This webinar was cosponsored by the EBM Tools Network, and it was presented by Mark Finkbeiner and Chris Robinson of NOAA.