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Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Gulf of Mexico Becky Allee Gulf Coast Services Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Gulf of Mexico Becky Allee Gulf Coast Services Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Gulf of Mexico Becky Allee Gulf Coast Services Center

2 Demand for IEAs U.S. Ocean Commission Report Ocean Research Priorities Plan NOAA’s Ecosystem Research and Science Enterprise Report NOAA’s 2007 Stakeholder Forum

3 Approach NOAA’s FY2010-2014 Strategic Investment Question on IEAs Appropriate balance of spatial scale Capacities needed Options in light of capabilities Ecosystem Goal Team’s description of “What is an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment?” Tool Product Process

4 Using existing information on living marine resources, water quality, habitat, climate change, and natural hazard impacts what are the management and data needs for maintaining a biologically healthy, safe and economically viable GOM? Management Question

5 Goal First, the GOM IEA will assess: the history of GOM ecosystem services; the current status of ecosystem services; and present management practices and projections of sustainability of ecosystem services in the future. Secondly, the GOM IEA will provide an assessment of linkages and responses of the Gulf ecosystem to terrestrial management practices.

6 Assembly, organization and communication of data and information Data Portal A fundamental component of the GOM IEA; provides ability to easily discover, access, and share diverse ecosystem data & information in a variety of formats and display venues. Gulf Ecosystem Modeling The GOM IEA will synthesize and quantitatively analyze information on relevant physical, chemical, ecological, and human processes.

7 Vision: A clean and healthy, sustainable, productive and biologically diverse GOM. Problem Statement: What are the consequences of ecosystem change to the people of the GOM?

8 Ecosystem Attributes of Concern Living Marine Resources (fisheries and protected species) Nutrients and Water Quality (eutrophication and contaminants) Habitat (coastal wetlands, reefs and shelf) Climate and Ocean Circulation (temperature, rainfall, sea level, currents, weather, hurricanes) Coastal Hazards (society, economic pressures)

9 Central coastal Eastern coastal Western coastal Focus Area

10 Deliverables: Year 1 Relevant data sets identified, synthesized and delivered through Data Portal access. Develop a conceptual model of the Gulf Ecosystem w/ 1st order quantification of stressors and indicators linked to the ecosystem and demonstrating where and at what magnitude interactions occur. Assess existing trophic, oceanographic and atmospheric models. Assess current management activities and options.

11 Develop indices of status and trends for stressor indicators in the Gulf Complete assessments and projections of stressor impacts Develop initial ecosystem model(s) linking biological systems to oceanographic and atmospheric systems. Deliverables: Year 2

12 Refine ecosystem models with expanded data input to predict responses to given stressor scenarios socio-economic factors trophic dynamics and climate variability Integrated Assessment Report on management tools and effective management options. Deliverables: Year 3

13 Out Years Improve monitoring, refine ecosystem level models and address adaptive management options.

14 NOAA: (Primary) NMFS – LMRs and Habitat NOS – Nutrients and Habitat; Natural Hazards (CSC) OAR – Climate NESDIS –Data organization and presentation NWS – Climate Federal Collaborators: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council EPA Gulf of Mexico Program GCOOS USGS NGOM Program State Collaborators : Gulf of Mexico Alliance Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission Academic Institution Collaborators : Harte Research Institute Northern Gulf Institute Natural Hazards Research Center, U of Colorado Contributing Partners

15 Examples of Pressures Alteration of wetland hydrology Fishing incidental removals (bycatch) Contaminant inputs from land sources Eutrophication Fishing directed removals Food web disruptions, invasive species Wetland habitat degradation and loss Freshwater inflow alteration Marine transportation (includes shipping activities, channel dredging and dredged material disposal) Oil spill events Coastal erosion Cyclic variability in trophic dynamics Sea level change Short and long term weather cycles Storm events, hurricanes AnthropogenicNatural

16 Examples of States Dollar value of structures covered by flood insurance Infrastructure development onshore and offshore Number of people living on the coast Fishery catch patterns Wetland habitat change patterns Coral degradation patterns AnthropogenicNatural Benthic community structure Cetacean population dynamics Coral growth patterns Coastal habitat distributions Harmful Algal Blooms Hypoxia

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