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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 5, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

GCP LCC Initiates Coastal Projects: The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC) has begun two new projects that will provide a greater understanding of the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and land use change on Gulf Coast ecosystems. The work is intended to provide a vulnerability assessment and support planning for restoration efforts. One project will document the gulf-wide status of critical barrier islands that serve as the coast’s first line of defense during storm surge events and offer unique nesting and feeding habitat essential for many coastal species. The other project will initiate a gulf-wide effort to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to date. This effort will include an evaluation of regional results to establish a consistent framework of data and models. The two projects are supported by the GCP LCC with additional leveraged investments from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and other landscape conservation cooperatives. GCP LCC personnel are located at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center. (Kristen Kordecki; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8535)

GOMA Federal Work Group Meeting: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Scott Wilson, Ecologist Kate Spear, and geographers Larry Handley and Chris Wells participated in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Federal Work Group Webinar on August 29. Presentations were given by James Burnett and Carlota Santos. James Burnett, Project Leader for North Florida National Wildlife Refuge, discussed the St. Marks NWR located in the Big Bend coast of northwest Florida. Burnett shared how this high-priority refuge contributes to the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats in the gulf watershed. Carlota Santos, from the Socio-Economics Group at the Harte Research Institute, discussed the recently released GecoServ—Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Services Valuation Database. The database facilitates the distribution and sharing of information on ecosystem services valuation studies. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a partnership of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with the goal of significantly increasing regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. GOMA has identified priority issues that are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at local, State, and Federal levels. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

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