Through an integrated science approach, the NOAA Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) program balances the needs of nature and society for current and future generations, supporting diverse marine resource management objectives in an ecosystem context.
The mission of the NOAA IEA Program is to provide a sound interdisciplinary analytical and science-based framework to support effective Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) of our Nation’s marine, coastal, estuarine, and Great Lakes resources. To ensure the sustainable delivery of a broad spectrum of benefits and services, IEAs assess the status of ecosystems in relation to defined societal goals and objectives; examine the cumulative impacts of natural and anthropogenic stressors; and analyze the cumulative risk of these stressors to US marine and coastal ecosystems. IEAs provide vital information to resource managers by evaluating the effect of possible management actions upon all focal ecosystem components (including human) in relation to their current state and societal goals; assessing tradeoffs among potentially competing objectives; and ultimately producing scientific analyses and products to help inform management decisions within an ecosystem context. By providing the scientific support for EBM, IEAs aim to support healthy and resilient communities, economies, ecosystems, and human well-being for current and future generations.