Filter by Type

Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve's Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project

Created: 12/19/2010 - Updated: 5/08/2019

Photo attributed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Summary

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is located in Aransas Bay northeast of Corpus Christi. The reserve is located in an area where rapid development and increased population growth has exacerbated pollution, habitat loss, habitat degradation, overfishing, invasive species, and coastal hazard threats. The Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project was designed to examine the links between land use strategies and their effects on coastal and marine ecosystems.

Background

The Mission-Aransas NERR in Aransas Bay, Texas, is led by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Mission-Aransas is one of 27 reserves in the NERR System (NERRS). Currently, NERRS protects over one million acres of estuarine waters and adjacent upland habitats. The reserve is located in an estuary that supports recreation, tourism, and commercial and recreational fisheries. In addition, the region is experiencing rapid development and increased population growth, which has exacerbated pollution, habitat loss, habitat degradation, overfishing, invasive species, and coastal hazard threats. These stressors are projected to increase with the advent of global climate change.

The Mission-Aransas NERR focuses on research and monitoring, education and outreach, and stewardship, and runs workshops and a Coastal Training Program out of its headquarters. As part of its Stewardship program, the NERR created the Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project. This project was created to increase understanding of the links between land use and effects on coastal and marine ecosystems.

Implementation

Partners on this project included the Mission-Aransas NERR, NatureServe, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Services Center, Texas Coastal Watershed Program, and Placeways, LLC. The Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project used three decision support tools – CommunityViz, NatureServe Vista, and N-SPECT – to evaluate existing ecosystem health and stressors, investigate trends in policy and economics, and develop alternative strategies to encourage sustainable land use planning and management. These tools allow for the ability to analyze land use scenarios and socioeconomic factors, evaluate impacts from land use scenarios, and identify stressors and predict changes from sedimentation and pollution.

Outcomes and Conclusions

In 2009, the final results of this project were presented to an audience of local, state, and federal officials. The three tools were used to evaluate ecological, social, and economic effects of different land use scenarios for Live Oak and Lamar Peninsulas in the region. These tools can be used in other integrated planning approaches around the country to help land use planners understand the links between land use policy and effects on coastal and marine ecosystems.

Status

Information collected through interviews and online resources. Last updated December 2010.

Citation

Gregg, R. M. (2010). Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve's Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project [Case study on a project of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/mission-aransas-national-estuarine-res... (Last updated December 2010)

Project Contacts

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve or “Reserve” is a federal and state partnership that conducts research, education, and stewardship programs. This program is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is managed by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. There are 28 Reserves around the country and each reserve is a "living laboratory" in which scientists conduct research and educators communicate research results.

Keywords

Scale of Project: 
Community / Local
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Land Use Planning
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Biodiversity
Habitat extent
Sea level rise
Climate Type: 
Temperate
Timeframe: 
1-3 years
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Habitat/Biome Type: 
Coastal
Effort Stage: 
Completed

Related Resources

Sector Addressed: 
Climate Justice
Conservation / Restoration
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Water Resources