Bringing science to bear on coastal decision-making Waves of Change September 4, 2003 David Keeley Maine State Planning Office
Issue: Society is expecting informed and science-based decision-making • Population pressures cause us to live closer together; • Resources are more finite; • Decision-making needs to be more precise
Today’s Themes • Coastal Management Vignettes • Science to Management Needs • New Tools for the Coastal Ocean
Setting a National Context -- Patterns of Development in Maine: 1940 - 2050
Part 1 - Coastal Management Vignettes: Bringing science to bear • Coastal Dredging – regional & local • Public Access to the Shoreline • Marine Protected Areas • Working Waterfronts • Commercial Fisheries • Coastal Water Quality & Shellfish
Coastal Dredging – regional ports • National security, jobs & economic development • Channel maintenance • Side-scan sonar, shoals, buoys & redeployment
Coastal Dredging – local ports • Dredging tidal inlets (e.g., sand budgets, marshes and the sand on adjacent beaches. Beach nourishment/use of dredged materials • Long-term impacts to beaches and dunes from repeated maintenance dredging.
Access to the Shoreline • Changing land ownership patterns • Socio-economic research (e.g. user surveys, willingness to pay) • Environmental research (carrying capacity)
Marine Protected Areas • Effect of dragging on the ocean floor and species • 5-year moratorium & call for science and traditional knowledge • Report to Legislature
Working Waterfronts • Public & private access for commercial fishing is diminishing & calls for action • Socio-economic research to preserve working waterfront property
Commercial Fisheries • Available species data & information impedes sound decision-making • Inshore trawl survey & emerging fisheries research
Coastal Water Quality & Shellfish • Bacteria levels exceed standards • Identify specific sources (humans, wildlife, etc.) • Targeted management responses (efficiency, priority)
Part Two: Science to management needs • Improved dissemination of existing knowledge and research; • Research on priority coastal & ocean management issues; • Translation of scientific results into information managers can use; • Building the capacity of local, state and federal managers to manage
Disseminating science • We are not fully capitalizing on previous investments in coastal and marine science • Work with funders, libraries and others to harness the information age
Investing in new research • Local, state and federal coastal managers need to better articulate their leading management issues and corresponding research needs • Sponsors of research (State and federal agencies, industry, foundations) need to integrate these needs into their funding programs
Turning data into information • Managers and scientists need to work collaboratively to synthesize data into information & create products of value to managers and decision-makers
Building capacity (teaching them to fish vs. fishing for them) • Local and state managers need to routinely invest in themselves • Existing mechanisms need to be reinforced • National estuary, coastal, ocean programs need to place a premium on capacity building
Part Three: Investing in new tools for coastal ocean management • National effort to strengthen the monitoring of coastal ocean trends and conditions • Ocean Commission priority on more informed decision-making & making the required investment • Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) -- as an example
Coastal Ocean Observing Purpose -- Facilitate safe and efficient marine operations, ensure national security, ensure sustainable food supply, manage ecosystems, mitigate natural hazards, and protect public health.
Critical Elements • Buoys & other sensors in the water • Land-based radar • Satellites • Modeling • Ships of opportunity Analysis, synthesis, & products
Why make this investment? • To provide data and information that serve public and private sector needs to: • Solve practical problems, • Predict events, • Increase public awareness, • Further understand natural systems A Coastal Oceanic Analog of… …the National Weather Service
User Needs & Payback • Mariners – safety, rescue • Shipping – safety & efficiency • Mammals – endangered species assessment • Aquaculture – site selection & water quality • Lobster fishing – recruitment prediction • Petroleum Industry – spill response • Shellfishing – spat collection, site selection • Military – national security, operations test bed • Coastal Management – eutrophication • Commercial & Sport Fishing – stock assessments • Research – long-term observations, infrastructure
Ocean Observing Summary • It will inspire and facilitate research • Users will justify the investment • Users need a 24/7 operational system that provides useful, timely information…and drives research • GoMOOS cost/benefit: $(3/30)M/year • A national OOS will only come to pass if Congress hears the same request from all regions!
Closing • Coastal states have many issues in common & a history of cooperation • We understand why & how science can be better applied to coastal management issues & the benefits • We need a consistent and firm statement from the Governors to the Ocean Commission on this matter