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Financial Assistance for National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To determine the long-term consequences of human activities which affect the coastal and marine environment; to assess the consequences of these activities in terms of ecological, economic, and social impacts upon human, physical and biotic environments, and to define and evaluate management alternatives which minimize adverse consequences of human use of the coastal and marine environments and resources. Executive Order 13158 directs Federal agencies to work collaboratively with public and private interests to develop a science- based framework for the national system of marine protected areas (MPAs). To insure compliance with this order, NCCOS is intending to conduct an integrated assessment (IA) examining the impacts of various marine resources uses on sustainable fisheries, biodiversity, and submerged cultural artifacts and looking at how a network of MPAs can be used to manage those impacts. The assessment is intended to provide scientific information that can be used to evaluate the existing system, evaluate options for future potential action, and identify gaps in our understanding of this issue. The IA will give stakeholders in the area a process for evaluating alternative methods of implementing E.O. 13158 and a product that 1) identifies objectives and priorities for marine protection and habitat enhancement, 2) outlines agreed-upon actions and implementation plans to achieve marine protection and habitat enhancement benefits, 3) serves as a tool for subsequent IAs, and 4) maintains or improves ecosystem health and the health of high priority, at-risk species. This assessment will be conducted in collaboration with NOAA's MPA Center, National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS), Non-Governmental Offices (NGO) and academic partners. Integrated assessments serve as a formal bridge between science and management to integrate the best existing scientific information for use by coastal managers. Integrated assessments 1) document status and trends of ecosystem and cultural resource conditions, 2) relate those trends to their environmental and economic causes and consequences, 3) predict outcomes of alternative management actions, and 4) review means to implement those alternatives. A successful IA is responsive to policy-relevant questions, based on peer review and public participation, broadly integrated and synthetic, based on high-quality existing information, and predictive.