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SEACAR - Project Goals and Scope

Goals

The established goals of the Statewide Ecosystem Assessment of Coastal and Aquatic Resources (SEACAR) project help to guide the assessment process, the generation of communication and engagement activities as well as the use of resources. The implementation of these goals ultimately will lead to the development of products or information that improves planning and management activities.

  • Resource Assessment Teams will establish ecological indicators, using current knowledge, for habitats in the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection’s managed areas.
  • Resource Assessment Teams will work cooperatively to provide consensus on indicators and product format.
  • An analysis of the statuses and trends of coastal resources will be conducted at a locally relevant scale, to support state and local programs, planning and decision-making.
  • Relevant statuses and trends will be communicated to local and state decision-makers and provide best available science.
  • Data will be integrated into Decision Support Tools that promote ecosystem-based resource management.

Geographic Scope

The geographic scope of the SEACAR project covers the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection (RCP) managed areas and priority habitats. Indicators were identified regionally, based on the four RCP management regions (Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast). SEACAR focuses specifically on submerged habitats within estuarine environments, habitats that are located at or below the water's surface, and the assessment of status and trends will contain only an assessment of available long-term data already being collected.

Guidelines

The SEACAR guidelines outline the scope of this project by identifying what the project will or will not accomplish and will be used to guide both the Data and Partner teams throughout the process. 

SEACAR will…

1. Identify:

a) Long-term ecosystem conditions of specific habitats in the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection's submerged managed areas

b) An index of submerged habitat condition

2. Identify indicators for the habitat index that meet the following needs:

a) Show statewide and site-specific trends over time

b) Allow comparisons between sites and across the state

c) Illustrate habitat change over time, driven by biotic and abiotic factors that define community structure

d) Allow data/results to directly inform and/or be used in local and state natural resource management decisions, submerged land planning and/or restoration

e) Allow for site and/or regional specific environments and conditions (while being comparable statewide)

3. Allow for expansion of indicators in the future

4. Determine the frequency of habitat index assessment to allow for adaptive management

5. Identify data gaps

6. Use existing data

7. Incorporate assessment information into a Decision Support Tool

SEACAR will not…

1. Identify the cause(s) of enhancements or declines in ecosystem health

2. Collect new data

3. Evaluate areas beyond the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection's management during the five-year pilot

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Last Modified:
February 24, 2020 - 3:09pm

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