Key points How this region is self-organizing around monitoring & indicators development – What we are doing? – How are we proceeding? – Who is involved? – What are the lessons-learned?
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Context for action Clean Water Action Plan (2000) & Coastal Monitoring and Research Plan Coastal States Organization comments (2002) establish a national monitoring center integrate federal monitoring programs support regional monitoring create indicators of ecosystem health US Ocean Commission (2004) create national monitoring network (e.g., backbone) with links to ocean observing, clear goals, meet regional information needs
Background: rationale for integration in the region Monitoring occurring in silos Increasingly complex management issues require more comprehensive analysis Incompatible data management & exchange is impeding better decision-making
Principles for integration Coastal management and policy needs are drivers; Effective interagency (e.g., local, state, regional and federal) cooperation; Existing monitoring and research programs provide the foundation for the effort; It’s sustained over the years, is interoperable (e.g., producing comparable data through standard procedures) and accessible to public and private sectors, and is cost-efficient; and It’s phased in, evolves and innovates without losing the value of historical data sets.
Monitoring Management Research Observing Value-added Network Notes: Coastal ocean observing – This is the routine collection of physical, chemical, biological, and oceanographic data that can be synthesized into information. (It is distinguished from monitoring that often focuses on responding to a specific issue such as the effect of ocean discharges.) Conceptual View
Possible benefits Regional assessments Methods standardization & intercalibration New tools Information management Interaction Public awareness & commitment
Functions of Network Scale Tidal and subtidalNear-shore & inshoreCoastalWatersheds and Blue Water/Ocean Scope/Reach State & federal marine monitoring programs Government and volunteerGovernment, volunteer and academic programs All monitoring data Program design & implementation Evaluate based on established protocols Apply standardized protocols selectively Amend programs to meet regional needs Standardized protocols and regional needs Data management Rely on current mechanismsWeb links to databases with spatial references & metadata Distributed & linked (e.g., archival and retrieval) Data synthesis and communication Existing level of program activity Embayment assessments by selected issue Integrated multi-factor regional assessments Biogeographical trends and assessment w/active marketing/dissem Links to research Spontaneous - no formal connection Identifies priorities linked to monitoring Active proponent for regional research Supports and conducts research (e.g., cause & effect) Services provided @ fee/consulting Local scale assessmentsGulfwide assessmentsIntegrated multivariate assessments Development of plans, strategies, BMPs, etc.
Costs, possible activities & products of a Gulf of Maine network Activities/methods – Regional methods standardization – Shared training – Common quality assurance protocols
Possible products Products requiring no “significant” new funding – Website with click-able map showing geographic coverage, data collected, URL, library catalogue, etc. – Networking of program staff via seminars, workshops, e-mail, etc. – Description of metadata and on-line access
Products (continued) Products requiring new funding – Integrated and synthesized data into information – Ability to compare data sets addressing different issues (land use changes and water quality) and draw conclusions – Enhanced predictive tools/modeling with more robust data inputs – Searchable databases & data histories – State of the environment reporting
Costs and Impediments Costs – Independence & freedom to act autonomously – Expenses of change Impediments – Inertia – Funding – Institutional – Technical
Ingredients to catalyze a network Program managers need to be involved in the formation of the network and affirm it will help them meet their program’s mission/objectives and enhance their efforts. Seed funding is needed to challenge monitoring programs to expend their own resources toward creation of the network.
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment A Sampling of Regional Activities Gulf of Maine EcoSystem Indicator Partnership Gulfwatch Nutrient Monitoring Pilot
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment EcoSystem Indicators Partnership October 2004 Gulf of Maine Summit – six proposed sets of 5-10 indicators (Tier one – coastal development, contaminants and fisheries, Tier two – nutrients, aquatic habitats and climate change) ESIP formed, co-chaired by federal agencies and staffed by Gulf of Maine Council Commenced development of management strategy & listening sessions
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Gulfwatch 1989 desire to coordinate & expand monitoring Formation of Gulfwatch to prove to ourselves 12-years of contaminant data (fact sheet) Peer review Stepping stone to integrated effort
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Nutrient Monitoring – Gulf pilot National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment update with Gulf of Maine as pilot collecting data & basing new assessment 20+ nutrient data sets collected & assessed Proposal pending to organize, repair and prepare to flow data electronically
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Closing Significant interest to improve management responses via indicators, monitoring & observing Partnerships are central Boot-strapping is expected Reinventing is costly and time consuming