The Open Ocean Trustees have approved a new Monitoring and Adaptive Management (MAM) Activity (PDF, 15 pages) that will develop a framework to evaluate the cumulative outcomes of marine mammal and sea turtle restoration in the Open Ocean Restoration Area.
For both resources, a problem-solving method referred to as Structured Decision Making (SDM), with expert elicitation techniques will be used to quantify the benefits of Open Ocean restoration actions. The project will start by compiling existing data on marine mammal and sea turtle restoration. This data will be used to develop objectives and performance measures to form the basis of an initial evaluation framework. Experts in SDM analysis will then work with marine mammal and sea turtle experts to examine the available data using data quantification and mathematical modeling, where data are available, and expert elicitation, when data are not sufficient to build out the evaluation framework. Ultimately, the project will result in an initial evaluation of Open Ocean marine mammal and sea turtle restoration to date.
This MAM activity addresses the goals outlined in the Open Ocean Trustees’ MAM Strategy including:
evaluating the outcomes of Open Ocean restoration efforts across multiple projects
identifying and filling data gaps to better evaluate progress toward restoration goals
identifying the benefits of restoration activities to Open Ocean resources across the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Understanding the impact of existing restoration activities will help inform decisions regarding future restoration and monitoring activities.
The MAM activity is anticipated to span three years, and the total estimated budget is about $2 million.
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