Gulf Coast Monitoring and Assessment Portal

Posted on: 12/14/2022 - Updated on: 12/14/2022

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Explore the inventory of Gulf Coast habitat monitoring, mapping, and water quality programs and assessments compiled by the RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP).

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. Monitoring information that has been collected at different spatial and temporal 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. The Council-funded RESTORE Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP) has inventoried these monitoring activities to highlight opportunities for efficiencies and collaborative cross-program review of performance with other Gulf ecosystem recovery efforts. The CMAP inventory, available through this website, is designed to improve discovery and accessibility of existing monitoring data and ensure collected information supports management decision-making.

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