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Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico (CEER-GOM)

Project Abstracts

Marius Brouwer. Co-P.I.'s: Jay Grimes, Chet Rakocinski, Richard Heard, Joe Lepo, Richard Snyder, Xiaojun Yang, Lita Proctor, Nancy Denslow, Luoheng Han, Kenneth Rose, Ann Cheek, Peter Thomas, Brian Scott Nunez, Peter Noble

Univ. Southern MS. College of Marine Sciences, Ocean Springs, MS; Univ. West Florida. Pensacola, FL; Univ. Florida, Gainesville FL; Univ. Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL ;The Univ. Texas Marine Science Inst. Port Aransas, TX; The Univ. Texas Marine Science Inst. Port Aransas, TX; Southeastern LA Univ. Hammond, LA; LA State Univ. Baton Rouge, LA; Univ. Washington. Seattle, WA; Florida State Univ. Tallahassee, FL

Recent concerns expressed by the U.S. EPA call for the development and validation of practical multiscale ecoindicators of estuarine integrity and function, particularly with regards to nutrient loading and clean sediments, that can also be adopted by state monitoring programs. Nutrients often contribute to development of hypoxic conditions, which along with increased sedimentation, act as stressors on estuarine ecosystems. The main objective of the proposed CEER program is to study, develop and validate indicators of estuarine condition at four levels of increasing biological complexity, viz. Individual, Population, Community and Ecosystem/Watershed, and to integrate the suite of indicator responses through statistical models that can be used to describe the "health" of an estuarine ecosystem. Our research will focus on three distinct estuarine ecosystems (Galveston Bay, Mobile Bay and Apalachicola Bay), all of which have ongoing monitoring programs in place. To accomplish our goal CEER has assembled a team of 14 scientists from universities from all five Gulf States, which span a wide range of scientific disciplines, ranging from molecular biology to remote sensing. The CEER program and research team will be assisted by an External Advisory Committee (EAC) composed of Coastal Managers from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

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