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Prioritizing County-Level Well-Being: Moving Toward Assessment of Gulf Coast Counties Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Industrial Disaster

Author(s): Lovelace, S.; T.L. Goedeke; M. Dillard

NCCOS Center: HML

Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Journal Title: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 146

Date of Publication: 2012

Reference Information: 48 pages

Keywords: well-being; health; social; economic; Gulf of Mexico; Alabama; Mississippi; Florida; Louisiana; indicators; ecosystem services; workshop; oil; Deepwater Horizon

Abstract: To develop a portfolio of indicators and measures that could best measure changes in the social, economic, environmental and health dimensions of well-being in coastal counties we convened a group of experts March 8-9, 2011 in Charleston, SC, U.S.A. The region of interest was of the northern Gulf of Mexico, specifically, those coastal counties most impacted during the explosion and subsequent oil spill from the Macondo Prospect wellhead during the summer of 2010. Over the course of the two-day workshop participants moved through presentations and facilitated sessions to identify and prioritize potential indicators and measures deemed most valuable for capturing changes in well-being related to changes in or disruption of ecosystem services. The experts reached consensus on a list of indicators that are now being operationalized by NOAA researchers. The ultimate goal of this research project is to determine whether a meaningful set of social and economic indicators can be developed to document changes in well-being that occur as a result of changes in ecosystem services. The outcomes and outputs from the workshop that is the subject of this report helped us to identify high-quality indicators useful for measuring well-being.

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