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Gulf of Mexico IEA: Products

Evaluating Changes in Health and Well-being in Communities Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Project Status: This project began in January 2011 and was completed in January 2013

We are exploring how environmental changes that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster of 2010 are affecting human health and well-being in neighboring coastal communities. Federal, state, and academic collaborators have identified indicators that will help us understand the links between the general health and well-being of communities and changing environmental conditions. Read More.

Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas

Based on the idea of a traditional atlas but offered via the Internet by NOAA, the Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas provides answers to questions related to the physical environment, marine resources, and economic activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Information is presented in the form of map plates with descriptions, written by recognized subject matter experts, explaining how the data were gathered and how they are relevant. The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas has data from federal, state, non-governmental agencies, and academia.


IOOS Biological Observations Data Project to Make Fisheries-Related Data Available

NOAA’s National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) is working with the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program Office, the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Galveston Laboratory, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) on a project to make Gulf fisheries-related data more broadly available. The IOOS Biological Observations Data Project focuses on the Comparative Assessment of Estuarine ecoSystems (CAGES) database, which is a database of state and federal fisheries-independent data compiled by the Galveston Laboratory. NCDDC is working with the team to create and manage metadata that will be discoverable through the Gulf of Mexico EcoWatchCatalog. The data will be available through IOOS  and GCOOS channels and ultimately through NCDDC via a variety of standard web-service protocols and data formats. NCDDC expects to continue developing datasets using this standardized protocol to serve NOAA’s ecosystem-based management efforts. 


Over Ten Seasons of Gulf Hypoxia Data Available on Hypoxia Watch Site

The northern Gulf of Mexico is home to the nation’s largest zone of coastal hypoxia, which develops seasonally in response to nutrient loading from the Mississippi River watershed and summertime stratification of the shelf water column. Since 2001, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Mississippi Laboratory in Pascagoula, MS has conducted annual field surveys of shelf waters, in part to measure dissolved oxygen levels and estimate the volume of hypoxic Gulf waters. NOAA’s National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) makes these data available in near real time, as well as historically, through the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Watch. The Hypoxia Watch web mapping application presents interactive contour maps of bottom-water dissolved oxygen, as well as static images of plotted profiles for the 2001-2011 seasons. All contoured data can be downloaded as shapefiles. The annual survey data, along with several other dissolved-oxygen datasets for the region from Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Texas A&M University, University of Southern Mississippi, and Environmental Protection Agency, have been preserved and are made available through NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center.


The Ecosystem Status Report for the Gulf of Mexico has been released: 

As part of the Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment project, NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center compiled the first Ecosystem Status Report for the Gulf of Mexico.  The goal of this report is to summarize the various processes occurring in the Gulf of Mexico that are important to consider from an ecosystem perspective.  The report will highlight potential indicators that could be used to track these ecosystem processes and states.  Selected indicators span a wide range of ecosystem components, including the climatic and physical drivers of ecosystem change, to the states of biological and human communities. 

This interdisciplinary report will elucidate linkages between different parts of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem, and provides context as we move towards an ecosystem-based approach to management of the Gulf.  

Examples of indicators being developed for the Ecosystem Status Report:  


Standardized monthly anomalies of geostrophic current estimates from 1992 to 2012, for the Yucatan Channel and the Florida Straits.

Mean trophic level in the catch calculated from landings data.  Index is calculated separately for U.S. recreational landings, U.S. commercial landings, U.S. commercial finfish catch excluding menhaden, and Mexican commercial landings.