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New online portal merges vast data on Gulf of Maine ecosystem

A new online portal consolidates decades of rich marine data, much of it available for the first time, enabling resource managers and scientific researchers to combine and analyze information in unprecedented ways, creating new insights into the Gulf of Maine's ecology.

Launched today by the Gulf of Maine Area program of the Census of Marine Life, the Dynamic Atlas of the Gulf of Maine, online at http://gmbis.iris.usm.maine.edu, will enhance current understanding of the complex marine ecosystem off New England and Canada's southeast coast.

With the collaboration of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System, the first-in-the-nation marine buoy system that reports ocean conditions in real time, and the Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership, the alliance of 20 agencies and organizations providing marine data, new portal offers up decades of work by agencies and scientists dedicated to understanding the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and its species.

For decades, a vast and growing storehouse of knowledge about the Gulf of Maine has been out of reach for most scientists and researchers. Although research capacity has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of computer and sensor technology, valuable collections of biological, oceanographic and geologic data from public and private institutions have, in large part, remained in isolation from each other. For the first time, the Dynamic Atlas brings this information together in one place.

"This new tool will enhance our understanding of biological patterns in the Gulf of Maine, across space and time, and illuminate critical trends related to this important international resource," says Evan Richert, program director for the Gulf of Maine program. "The new portal is the door to a treasure of data, much of it essentially inaccessible before now. Modern technologies allow us now to access these data in far more meaningful ways. This is a very big step toward understanding the diversity and distribution of
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Source:Census of Marine Life


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