Ecological Impacts of Hypoxia on Living Resources Meeting Seeks to Provide Answers to the “So What” Question for Improved Management of Hypoxia in Coastal Waters
NCCOS and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, in coordination with the Northern Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Institute, convened the Ecological Impacts of Hypoxia on Living Resources Meeting, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The current poor understanding of the quantitative relationship between hypoxic (“dead”) zones and populations of commercially and recreationally important living resources (the “so what” question) is the single most significant scientific barrier to informed management of this problem nationally. The effectiveness of existing approaches for evaluating the impacts of hypoxia on ecologically, commercially, and recreationally important fish and shellfish populations will be compared between three coastal systems noted for seasonally recurring hypoxic zones: Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Erie. The meeting brought together over sixty top scientists and consisted of an open symposium (March 26-27) and a workshop involving invited researchers and managers (March 28-29). Outcomes of the workshop include a white paper, and will also result in a technical report and peer-reviewed journal issue that summarize historical information on hypoxia effects on fish and shellfish, management tools and science needs. The pre-meeting white paper is currently available online (click here) and post-meeting technical report will be posted on the meeting website www.ngi.msstate.edu/hypoxia at a later date.