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Ecosystem Monitoring for Gulf of Mexico Recovery

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Kristy Tavano

on 13 April 2016

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Transcript of Ecosystem Monitoring for Gulf of Mexico Recovery

Ecosystem Monitoring for Gulf of Mexico Recovery
R/V Ecosystem Monitoring
Complex of a community of organisms, including humans, and environment functioning as an ecological unit.
Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem:
The Gulf of Mexico is recognized as one of the Large Marine Ecosystems of the world by the United Nations Atlas of the Ocean.
The Gulf harbors more than 15,000 marine animal and plant species and provides critical habitat for migratory protected species en route to nesting or foraging grounds.
The Gulf of Mexico is also a region of economic importance to both its local communities and the country as a whole. The Gulf states provide 17% of the Nation's gross domestic product including:
per year in revenue for the nation from Gulf Ocean industries
from tourism and recreation
from seafood and fisheries industries
Supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.
GCOOS Build-out Plan Solution
By The
Version 1 of the plan released in response to the U.S. Integrated Coastal Ocean and Observing System Act of 2009.
Version 2 released with significant updates prompted by needs identified during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and additional stakeholder needs.
The total number of people participating in more than 17 workshops over seven years contributing to Versions 1 and 2 of the plan.
At least 50 others contributed via direct email.
The number of unique organizations represented.
The minimum number of national, regional, and local plans reviewed and considered in the Build-out Plan.
The number of elements in the plan.
The number of opportunities the Gulf community will have to develop a sustainable, comprehensive, stakeholder-driven observing system!
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded causing 11 men to lose their lives.
Over the span of 87 days, an estimated 4-5 million barrels of oil spill in to the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
This is the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history resulting in over $37.676 billion in civil and criminal penalties.
(Shepard et al, 2014)
Restoration Objectives
Restore and conserve habitat
Restore water quality
Replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources
Enhance community resilience
Restore and revitalize the Gulf economy
Spill response and restoration is an unprecedented regional and national effort in terms of size and complexity.

Ecosystem monitoring should be an critical part of the restoration process.
A systematic approach to observing and studying an environment. Typically through scientific sampling, results can help determine the health of an ecosystem and access trends in conditions.
What is it?
Why do it?
To establish a baseline
To assess success of restoration efforts within ecosystem context
To sustain ecosystem goods and services for
To support adaptive management
To complement and integrate project-level monitoring
What to
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS)
The GCOOS Regional Association is the
stakeholder-based Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated
Ocean Observing System.
Their mission is to provide timely, reliable, and accurate information on the U.S. coastal and open ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure a healthy, sustainable ocean and safe, resilient coastal communities.
Please provide feedback to
GOMURC Director: Andrew Shepard

Presented by:
The Gulf of Mexico
University Research Collaborative

Build-out Plan for a Gulf Observing System
conomic Opportunity
conomic Opportunity
conomic Opportunity
Observations based on 10 years of identifying broad stakeholder needs.
Founded in existing systems and capabilities in the Gulf
For public & private entities
Founded in existing systems and capabilities in the Gulf
Observations based on 10 years of identifying broad stakeholder needs.
5 Themes of GCOOS:
Public Health and Safety
Healthy Ecosystems and Water Quality
Mitigation of Effects of Coast Hazards
Safe and Efficient Marine Operations
Long-term Ocean Variability and Changes
A long-term vision of a comprehensive Gulf regional observing and monitoring system based on stakeholders needs; developed in partnership with stakeholders over decades.
Without an adequate Gulf Observing System, we cannot fix what we do not understand, cannot restore without knowing the desired end-points, and cannot predict restoration success in view of the many other natural and human induced changes and conditions in complex ecosystems like the Gulf of Mexico.
More than just Ecosystem Monitoring!
Examples of other aspects of the
Build Out Plan (BOP):
Surface Currents and Waves Network
Data Portal and Products
Modeling and Analysis
Outreach and Education
Diverse Membership and Coordination
Multiple funding sources are need to support a Gulf Observing System.

Different entities, such as the various restoration programs, could fund, request funding and implement different elements of the plan.
What next?
Coordinate experts to identify the best next steps for ecosystem monitoring in the Gulf
Proposal to fund Build-out Plan Ecosystem Monitoring for restoration priorities
Integration with funded planning efforts
GCOOS/SECORA engagement activities
The Build-out Plan aligns with the many declared restoration priorities.
Gulf of Mexico
Surface currents and waves network
Autonomous meteorological measurement network
Gliders, AUVs and surface vehicles
Satellite observations and products
Aircraft observations and unmanned aerial systems
Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System
Enhanced Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS)
Ecosystem modeling
Circulation modeling
Governance and management
Ecosystem monitoring
Enhanced water level network
Bathymetry and topography mapping
Hypoxia monitoring
Monitoring of river discharge to the Gulf
Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Network and Beach Water Quality Monitoring
Data management and communications
Outreach and education
Denotes places you can manually zoom in for more details.
A special "Thank You" to the Walton Family Foundation and the Harte Support Foundation for supporting GOMURC's work and to GCOOS for your collaboration on this presentation.
Ecosystem Monitoring Elements of the Build-out Plan.
Section 5: Monitoring for Restoration Projects
There are broad, intersecting groups of stakeholders with interests in ecosystem monitoring.
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
Private Sector (e.g., oil and gass, shipping, NGOs)
Government (e.g., resource managers, emergency responders)
Education and Outreach
Governors of the five Gulf States with Federal, Industry, and NGO partners
Eighty public and private institutions with in the five Gulf States.
Gulf States
Restoration Council
Centers of Excellence
NOAA Restore
NRDA and State Trustees
NFWF and State Trustees
The number of teams of subject matter experts that wrote the Build-out Plan.
The number of regional programs coordinated with the Plan.
Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association
The number of ways you can provide input to the Plan.
Contact GCOOS Executive Director, Dr. Barb Kirkpatrick
Email: barb.kirkpatrick@gcoos.org
Phone: (941) 724-4320
Feedback from these stakeholders on the BOP's ecosystem monitoring element is greatly needed.
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