Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Reports


Integrated Conceptual Ecosystem Model Development for the Southeast Florida Coastal Marine Ecosystem

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The overall goal of the MARES (MARine and Estuarine goal Setting) project for South Florida is “to reach a science-based consensus about the defining characteristics and fundamental regulating processes of a South Florida coastal marine ecosystem that is both sustainable and capable of providing the diverse ecosystem services upon which our society depends.” Through participation in a systematic process of reaching such a consensus, science can contribute more directly and effectively to the critical decisions being made both by policy makers and by natural resource and environmental management agencies. The document that follows briefly describes MARES overall and this systematic process. It then describes in considerable detail the resulting output from the first step in the process, the development of an Integrated Conceptual Ecosystem Model (ICEM) for the third subregion to be addressed by MARES, the Southeast Florida Coast (SEFC). What follows with regard to the SEFC relies upon the input received from more than 60 scientists, agency resource managers, and representatives of environmental organizations during workshops held throughout 2009–2012 in South Florida.

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NOAA Technical Memorandum


This paper is a result of research under the MARine and Estuarine goal Setting (MARES) for South Florida Project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (Coastal Ocean Program), under award NA08OAR4320889 to the University of Miami, NA09NOS4780224 to Nova Southeastern University, NA09NOS4780225 to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, NA09NOS4780226 to the National Audubon Society, NA‑ 09NOS4780227 to Florida Gulf Coast University, NA09NOS4780228 to Florida International Uni‑ versity, and to the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. We thank Gail Derr of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory for her support in developing this technical memorandum.

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Produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Cooperation with Federal, State, Local, Academic, Industry Partners, and Non-Government Organizations

NOAA does not approve, recommend, or endorse any proprietary product or material mentioned in this document. No reference shall be made to NOAA or to this document in any advertising or sales promotion which would indicate or imply that NOAA approves, recommends, or endorses any proprietary product or proprietary material herein or which has as its purpose any intent to cause directly or indirectly the advertised product to be used or purchased because of this document. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of the funding agency.



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