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The Economics and Social Benefits of NOAA Ecosystems Data and Products

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The Economics and Social Benefits

of NOAA Ecosystems Data and Products

Ecosystems Data Users Business Sectors General Public Government Extreme Events Observing Systems Land Surface LIDAR Marine Surface Mobile Laboratories Satellite Systems of Information Upper Air

Billions of dollars of value in recreational, tourism and commercial activity depend on healthy coastal, ocean and fresh water environments. Pressures on these systems are increasing and in some cases have already caused severe impacts such as fishery closures due to overfishing, harmful algal blooms, and degradation to coastal ecosystems.

To help preserve our natural resources, one of NOAA's primary missions is to "Protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management." Improving and protecting the condition of these resources requires advanced tools, observation systems, and effective coordination, in order to provide decision makers with information of the highest quality.

NOAA and its partners continuously work on a variety of ecosystem health issues through collecting data and performing research using an array of instrumentation (e.g., submersibles, remotely operated or autonomous underwater vehicles, mixed gas diving gear, underwater laboratories and observatories). In addition to developing new tools to monitor ecosystem health and better understand complex environmental issues, this research can also lead to the discovery of new chemical compounds used to produce new medicines and a variety of other marine biotechnology applications.

The information in this goal is organized into three categories:

NOAA Ecosystems Goal Performance Objectives:

  • Increase number of fish stocks managed at sustainable levels (e.g. fisheries)
  • Increase number of protected species that reach stable or increasing population levels (e.g. species management)
  • Increase number of regional coastal and marine ecosystems delineated with approved indicators of ecological health and socioeconomic benefits that are monitored and understood (e.g. CRW, NERRS, FIS, CoRIS)
  • Increase number of invasive species populations eradicated, contained, or mitigated
  • Increase number of habitat acres conserved or restored
  • Increase portion of population that is knowledgeable of and acting as stewards for coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Increase environmentally sound aquaculture production
  • Increase number of coastal communities incorporating ecosystem and sustainable development principles into planning and management