OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Gulf of Mexico Research Plan that identifies marine research priorities in the region has been released. More than 1,500 people with more than 20,000 combined years of professional service from 260 organizations, government agencies and universities worked to identify and prioritize these needs. During the two-year planning effort, more than 250 research priorities were distilled into a list of 17 top research priorities. These priorities share five theme areas:
- Ecosystem health indicators
- Freshwater input and hydrology
- Habitats and living resources
- Sea-level change, subsidence and storm surge
- Water quality and nutrients
The Gulf of Mexico Research Plan covers many disciplines including anthropology, biology, climatology, economics, engineering, geology, hydrology and others.
Fourteen research funding groups and government agencies already use the plan to address Gulf of Mexico needs. Agencies recently followed the plan to help determine which research projects would be supported with more than $1.8 million in available funding. The Gulf of Mexico Research Plan and supporting documents are available at http://masgc.org/gmrp/report.htm.
The effort to create the plan began in 2007 to help the research community use its limited number of scientists and research dollars as efficiently as possible.
The Gulf of Mexico Research planning effort was guided by a planning and review council and funded in part by NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program and the Florida, Mississippi-Alabama, Louisiana and Texas Sea Grant programs.
Hard copies of the plan are available by contacting Steve Sempier with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium at 228-818-8830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.