Why can't we rely on Google Earth or satellite imagery for taking an inventory of the intertidal zone?
There are several challenges regarding satellite imagery which prevent us from relying on this technology. Satellite images are taken when the lighting is best, usually around the noon hour. This timing rarely coincides with extreme low tides. Satellite imagery is sometimes taken during winter months when ice cover would prevent us from interpreting the shoreline attributes, and cloud cover is often a major problem in the imagery.
ShoreZone methods ensure that imagery is taken during extreme low tide events during the summer months when the intertidal flora is in bloom. Satellite imagery does not yet have the capability of capturing the details that high resolution photography can capture. However, it is useful and complementary to couple satellite imagery together with ShoreZone imagery and data.