RESTORETHEGULF.GOV
The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Council Monitoring & Assessment Program Development (USGS)

Project Footprint
Project Footprint
Project Abstract:
The monitoring and assessment program, administered jointly by NOAA and USGS, is building the foundational components for Gulf of Mexico-wide monitoring that supports the ability of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) to make science-based decisions and evaluate restoration effectiveness. Through collaboration with the Gulf states, federal and local partners, academia, non-governmental/non-profit organizations, and industry, the program uses a Monitoring Community of Practice coordinated by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and a Monitoring Coordination Committee to leverage existing resources, capacities, and expertise. This project builds on existing monitoring programs, which will be coordinated into a network to provide efficiency in monitoring and collaborative cross-program review of performance with other Gulf ecosystem recovery efforts. The program will: (1) adopt, or construct as needed, a comprehensive inventory of existing habitat and water quality observations, monitoring, and mapping programs in the Gulf; (2) determine the minimum monitoring program attributes needed to evaluate performance of restoration projects; (3) evaluate monitoring program suitability for use by the RESTORE Council to make science-based decisions and evaluate restoration effectiveness; (4) combine metadata from suitable existing programs into searchable databases for RESTORE Council use; (5) examine the inventory to determine what data are missing (i.e. identify information gaps) that would be required for the RESTORE Council; (6) catalogue existing assessments of habitat and water quality conditions; and (7) provide recommendations to the RESTORE Council to supplement and refine the existing monitoring programs to inform the information gaps where possible. Additional information on the Council Monitoring and Assessment Program can be found at https://coastalscience.noaa.gov/project/restore-council-monitoring-and-assessment-program-building-a-comprehensive-monitoring-network/. Additional information on the Monitoring Community of Practice can be found at https://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/about-us/regional-initiatives/monitoring-community-of-practice/.