MIAMI A Florida-based marine research team has developed a unique formal process and modeling framework to help manage South Florida's economically important coastal marine environments. The MARES project (Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting), led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) based at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, successfully integrated both ecosystem science and societal benefits into a marine ecosystem support tool to help improve decision-making by natural resource managers.
The research team published their findings in 15 research papers in a special issue of the journal of Ecological Indicators - Volume 44, entitled: "Tools to support ecosystem based management of South Florida's coastal resources." The results have been incorporated into the revised Guidance Document for the National Marine Sanctuaries' Condition Reports and are being used by the Our Florida Reefs community working groups, the National Parks Service, NOAA's Integrated Ecosystem Assessment efforts, and in undergraduate courses at Florida universities and colleges.
"One of the important aspects of this new suite of tools, which includes conceptual info-graphics, integrated ecosystem models and both human and ecological indicators, is that it's exportable technology," said Peter Ortner, UM Rosenstiel Research Professor and Director of CIMAS. "It can be applied directly to the management of other coastal ecosystems."
A MARES program for coastal North Carolina is under consideration and a full-day workshop on MARES will be held at next December's "Linking Science, Practice and Decision Making" conference in Washington, DC. The NOAA/Climate Program Office has recently announced an award to CIMAS applying the MARES framework entitled "Developing decision support tools for understanding, communicating, and
|Contact: Diana Udel|
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science