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Innovative Management Approach Guides Marine Spatial Planning

Published on: 11/20/2014
Research Area(s): Marine Spatial Ecology
Primary Contact(s): mark.monaco@noaa.gov

NCCOS has developed an innovative decision support process, the Biogeographic Assessment Framework (BAF), for comprehensive and efficient management of coastal and marine environments around the world. Two decades of close collaborations with scientists and marine resource managers have resulted in a tool that integrates multiple types of information, such as resource use and ecosystem characterization data, relevant to the area of concern into visualized products easily understood by planners and coastal managers.

NOAA's Biogeographic Assessment Framework to support marine spatial planning. A logical sequence of steps in information synthesis: 1) talking with managers to determine priorities; 2) assessing the data and identifying data gaps; 3) characterizing the ecosystem patterns and processes including human activities across the area of interest; and 4) working with managers to support specific management applications.

NCCOS’s Biogeographic Assessment Framework to support marine spatial planning. A logical sequence of steps in information synthesis: 1) talking with managers to determine priorities; 2) assessing the data and identifying data gaps; 3) characterizing the ecosystem patterns and processes including human activities across the area of interest; and 4) working with managers to support specific management applications.

The framework is flexible, multi-disciplinary, and can be scaled across different geographic areas to support marine spatial planning of coastal zones at the state, regional, or national level.A detailed description of the framework along with two management applications will be published in the 2015 edition of Marine Policy: Biogeographic assessments: A framework for information synthesis in marine spatial planning.

For more information, contact Mark Monaco ( Mark.Monaco@noaa.gov ).

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