The Importance of Data Discovery and Management in Advancing Ecosystem-Based Management

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data management, ecoregions, ecosystem-based management, gulf of mexico, habitat, ocean resources

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The aim of the Geospatial Assessment of Marine Ecosystems (GAME) project is to develop an inventory of habitat-related data within the Gulf of Mexico and East coast of Florida. This will serve as a foundation to develop a spatial framework for ecosystem-based management associated with regulatory and planning programs and areas of governmental coordination. The data inventory will have both a regional and local scope and will focus on gathering data and mapping coastal habitats from the estuaries onshore to the edge of the continental shelf offshore. The synthesis of data in a Geographic Information System (GIS)-compatible database will enable the overlay of diverse information in a way that permits transparent and intuitive visualization of habitats and marine resources. Information gaps will be identified and maps produced. The availability of updated maps derived from a spatially organized database can allow rapid access to the information needed to enhance the understanding and protection of habitats and their associated marine resources. In addition, data mining of historical data (e.g., from reports and publications) and their subsequent inventory using metadata standards within an organized data management framework will benefit both researchers and decision makers.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Marine Policy, v. 33, issue 4, p. 651-653