Gulf Ecosystem Study Uses Digital Coast Data

Report covers overfishing, climate, wetland losses and gains, and urbanization numbers.

A status report for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast documented the following discoveries:

  • The proportion of fishing stocks being overfished is at an all-time low in the history of these reports.
  • Natural habitats are on the decline and artificial habitats are on the rise.
  • Urbanization is increasing at faster rates than in previous reports.
  • Sea surface temperature, sea level rise, and inadequate oxygen levels are increasing at faster rates in some marine areas.
  • Total commercial landings and revenues, recreational fishing, and the ocean economy employment and gross domestic product have all increased.

Other findings detail the loss of wetland cover in Louisiana, the moderate wetland gains in the Florida Panhandle, and faster-than-usual conversion to urban land in Houston, Tampa, and other Gulf communities.

This information is useful for those working to document changes as well as the cause and effect. Five NOAA partners and the University of Miami produced the report with the aid of data from NOAA’s Digital Coast, including the Economics: National Ocean Watch Explorer and Land Cover Atlas. (2017)

More Information: Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Status Report

Partners: The University of Miami and NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center and Southeast Regional Office, Office for Coastal Management, and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory