Thursday, October 20, 2011

NOAA's Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program

William Nuttle, Organizer for CERF 2011 Synthesis Sessions

NOAA is implementing integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) for 8 regional ecosystems in US coastal waters.  IEAs provide a decision-support system that uses diverse data and ecosystem models to forecast future conditions; evaluates alternative management scenarios; and assesses economic and ecological tradeoffs to guide decisions, implement, and evaluate management actions relative to the specified objectives. A primary objective of NOAA’s IEA approach is to make comprehensive information available to inform management decisions. This is done by predicting the outcome of management choices through the described iterative step-wise process that aims to:

  • assess existing (baseline) ecosystem conditions
  • assess activities or elements in an ecosystem that can stress the ecosystem
  • predict the status of the ecosystem under stress if no management action is taken
  • evaluate the status of the ecosystem under stress under different management scenarios, and
  • evaluate the success of management actions in achieving the desired target conditions.
This post relates to Topic 1: Integrated ecosystem assessment to be discussed during the Synthesis Sessions at CERF 2011.

For more information visit the website for NOAA's Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program.

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