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‘Ecological Resilience Indicators for Five Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems” report now available

Posted by on in Gulf Science and Education

NatureServe, in partnership with USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, The Nature Conservancy, University of Texas, Austin, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Ocean Conservancy, just published the report "Ecological resilience indicators for five Northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems."  Funded by the NOAA RESTORE Science Program, the project established conceptual ecological models for salt marsh, mangrove, seagrass, oyster and coral ecosystems to guide the identification of the indicators, the metrics used to assess them, and metric ratings that allow evaluation of ecological condition and ecosystem service provision. The study also provides a spatial analysis of the existing monitoring programs that are collecting data for the indicators to identify opportunities for additional data collection. This work is meant to help guide the collection of data that will inform living marine resource management, restoration planning and evaluation, damage assessment and recovery, and ecosystem health assessment.  The project report and list of indicators can be downloaded here and the spatial analysis is available here.

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Andy Shepard is former director and advisor for the Gulf of Mexico Research Collaborative (www.gomurc.org).  Previous experiences include: National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as Science Director, marine operations specialist, chief scientist on undersea expeditions, and Center Director (2004-2008); 2008-2011-- Associate Director, Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, FL.  His research interests include: advanced undersea research technologies for ocean ecosystem studies; research, monitoring and management of benthic habitats and associated living resources; and assessment of fishing gear performance and environmental impacts.
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