The U. S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to join NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in supporting an initiative that will lay the foundation for the first national network to monitor marine biodiversity at scales ranging from microbes to whales.
The projects, funded at approximately $17 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds, will demonstrate how a nationally operational marine biodiversity observation network could be developed. Such a network would serve as a marine resource management tool to conserve existing biodiversity and enhance U.S. biosecurity against threats such as invasive species and infectious agents.
Three demonstration marine biological observation networks will be established in four locations: the Florida Keys, Monterey Bay and the Santa Barbara Channel in California, and in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska.
This joint effort is intended to support the U.S. National Ocean Policy to “protect, maintain, and restore the health and biological diversity of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources.” An integrated picture of what is happening to marine biodiversity enhances the ability of policymakers and natural resource managers to devise effective strategies to address ecosystem threats from pollution and climate change.
The pilot research program is sponsored under the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, which facilitates joint funding of projects of mutual interest to different institutions in an effort to avoid duplication of research efforts.
Click here to read more about this joint effort.