Home > Explore Data & Reports > Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP): Inventory of Existing Habitat and Water Quality Monitoring, and Mapping Metadata for the Gulf of Mexico Programs


NOAA and USGS. 2019. Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP): Inventory of Existing Habitat and Water Quality Monitoring, and Mapping Metadata for the Gulf of Mexico Programs. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 262. Silver Spring, MD. 155 pp. doi:10.25923/gwpx-ff30

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


Under the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council or Council ) is required to report on the progress of funded projects and programs. Systematic monitoring of restoration at the project-specific and programmatic-levels (watershed and Gulf of Mexico) enables consistent reporting and gives the public confidence that the restoration investments selected by the RESTORE Council will be evaluated and adaptively managed accordingly. Synthesized monitoring information from multiple scales can be used as the foundation to illustrate progress toward comprehensive ecosystem restoration goals and objectives that promote holistic Gulf of Mexico recovery. The best available science is required to make informed decisions to effectively manage ecosystem resources at multiple geographic scales across the Gulf of Mexico. However, knowing what data are being collected where is a daunting challenge. Thus, a spatially and temporally comprehensive environmental monitoring network for habitat monitoring, water quality monitoring, and habitat mapping is a foundational element that can support making scientifically sound decisions regarding the health and viability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. In the context of Gulf protection and restoration, a coordinated compilation of existing environmental monitoring programs will provide essential information to support the development, selection, and application of effective management and restoration alternatives, and inform adaptive management decisions at the local, state, and regional levels. Currently, federal, state and local agencies, universities, private industry, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are conducting extensive monitoring activities around the Gulf. In addition, each RESTORE Council-funded project will, at a minimum, perform project-specific monitoring. This collection of monitoring activities is being inventoried and coordinated into a network of existing programs by the Council funded RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP), which will suggest cost-efficiencies and opportunities for collaborative cross-program review of performance with other Gulf ecosystem recovery efforts. CMAP is designed and funded to inventory and begin to integrate existing monitoring efforts, improve discovery and accessibility of existing monitoring data, and ensure collected information supports management decision making. The fundamental approach to building the CMAP Gulf habitat mapping, water quality and habitat monitoring network is to: 1) adopt, or construct as needed, a comprehensive inventory of existing habitat and water quality observation, monitoring, and mapping programs in the Gulf; 2) evaluate the suitability/applicability of each program and its existing and prospective data; 3) coordinate and integrate appropriate existing observations and monitoring systems to form a regional monitoring network with an integrated data management structure; 4) identify information gaps; 5) provide recommendations to strategically supplement and refine observations and monitoring systems to fill the acknowledged gaps with available capabilities and capacity of all the regional partners; and 6) develop a searchable monitoring information portal/database to enable access to collected information and products.

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