Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem-Based Management Activities

The Gulf of Mexico is a semi‐enclosed coastal sea with diverse topography and moderately high productivity that supports biological diversity and extensive fish, sea birds and marine mammals. Along with supporting a large recreational and commercial fishing industry, the Gulf of Mexico also provides vital services such as oil and gas production, tourism, habitat for endangered species, and support for local economies. The Gulf of Mexico supports some of the most productive fisheries in the world, representing as much as 24% of the total U.S. domestic commercial fishing revenue. Oil and gas exploration and production is another significant economic factor in the Gulf. 

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Despite the area’s many ecological services, management of the system has historically been done on a case by case or single species basis with little or no integration. First conceived in 2008, the Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) is an interdisciplinary, interagency effort whose goal is to address all the various ecological services in one unified management framework. The intent of the IEA is to observe the tradeoffs that often occur between conflicting ecosystem services and establish a more holistic, broader perspective than currently provided by single species models.

Gulf of Mexico IEA Website

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

The sanctuary lies one hundred miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana where three underwater gardens emerge from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. The Flower Garden and Stetson Banks are surface expressions of salt domes beneath the sea floor. These premier diving destinations harbor the northernmost coral reefs in the continental United States and serve as regional reservoirs of shallow-water Caribbean reef fishes and invertebrates.

Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary Website

Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting Project For South Florida

See Southeast Region page

This represents a sample of the NOAA programs employing EBM in the the Gulf of Mexico region, it is not comprehensive. If there are programs you feel should be included please contact us.