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Advancing Ecosystem Modeling of Hypoxia and Diversion Effects on Fisheries in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Author(s): Ashby, S.; M. Bundy; V. Fay; R. Fulford; S. D. Giordano; C. Kelble; L, Myles; J. W. Pahl; R. Raynie; R. Swafford. Edited by A. J. Lewitus; D. M. Kidwell; D. Scheurer

NCCOS Center: CSCOR

Name of Publisher: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Place of Publication: Stennis Space Center, MS

Publication Type: Proceedings

Journal Title: Proceedings Paper from the 5th Annual NOAA/NGI Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop, 14-16 July 2014 at the Mississippi State University Science and Technology Center at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

Date of Publication: 2015

Reference Information: 46 pp.

Keywords: Louisiana; wetlands; Mississippi River; diversions; hypoxia; dead zone; salt marsh; fisheries; restoration; socioeconomics

Abstract: The 5th Annual NOAA/NGI Gulf Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop brought Louisiana state officials together with federal and other state agencies, NGOs, and academic scientists with interests in discussing a path forward to achieve a balance of (1) restoring Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, (2) reducing the size of the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, and (3) sustaining ecological and socioeconomic benefits of fisheries. The main drivers for these efforts – the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s (CPRA) Coastal Master Plan and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force’s (Hypoxia Task Force or hereafter HTF) Action Plan – committed to adaptive management approaches based largely on the limited ability to predict how restoration practices will achieve the intended outcomes. The timing of the workshop was ideal in that: an adaptive management implementation plan was in preparation by CPRA, based on recommendations from The Water Institute of the Gulf (Water Institute); the HTF was entering a goal reassessment phase of their adaptive management process, and the proper analysis of the optimal mitigation goal that depends on restored ecosystem benefits includes the interactive effects of diversions; recent major advances in ecological modeling may provide the scientific foundation for effective adaptive management of ecosystem response to diversions and hypoxia; and several ongoing efforts were ready to apply their approaches and tools to advance the assessment and prediction of the environmental, social and economic effects of diversions and hypoxia. Workshop discussions were productive and energetic, reflecting a common mission toward informing adaptive management implementation plans that would allow the best chance of achieving an agreed upon balance of restoration outcomes. This proceedings paper continues that momentum by presenting discussion points from the workshop to help inform the adaptive management of diversions and hypoxia.

Availability: Available from NCCCOS Publications Explorer and from NCEI.

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