AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (GoM-IEA)

The Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (GoM-IEA) is a wide-ranging collaboration within NOAA and with outside NOAA partners in the Gulf of Mexico region, aiming to fulfill the needs of resource managers for science-based decision making tools. As the provider of many life-sustaining services, the sea and its diverse ecosystems are of extreme importance to humans. Benefits derived from coastal areas include providing food, avenues for transportation, protection from storms and a multitude of others termed "ecosystem services".

The objective of the GoM-IEA project is to investigate the tradeoffs among and between services and sustainability using cross-sectoral analyses. Through the development of qualitative, semi-quantitative, and dynamic holistic ecosystem models and methodologies, the GoM-IEA hopes to help inform management decisions and aim to minimize the risk to ecosystem services and sustainability. This project is part of a worldwide movement towards Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) as the approach to safeguard marine ecosystems and their services. As coastal populations continue to grow, the demand for accessibility to these benefits is increasing. In order to sustain ecosystem services, it is important to first understand and protect the environments from which they are derived.

Contact Information for OCED/EAM Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Researchers: