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Multiagency Environmental Indicators Meeting in New Hampshire—The Sequel

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The Northeast Coastal Indicators Workshop (NCIW) was held on January 6-8, 2004, at the New England Center on the campus of the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Approximately 70 regional environmental professionals from Federal, State, provincial, local, and nongovernmental organizations participated. Representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) included Susan Russell-Robinson (Reston, VA), Hilary Neckles and Blaine Kopp (Augusta, ME), and John Bratton (Woods Hole, MA). The workshop was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS), the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, the Maine State Planning Office's Coastal Program, the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT), and Battelle. The primary organizer was Barry Burgan (EPA), with significant input from David Keeley (Maine State Planning Office), Carlton Hunt (Battelle), and a steering committee of 18 additional members. This workshop grew out of an earlier meeting, the Atlantic Northeast Coastal Monitoring Summit, that took place in December 2002 at the same location. The primary task of the recent workshop was for breakout groups to prepare lists of appropriate indicators related to six key issues in the region: fisheries, coastal development, eutrophication, contaminants, climate change, and aquatic habitat. The steering committee developed the following vision and goal for the region and the workshop:

  • Vision for the region—a sustainable Northwest Atlantic ecosystem that ensures environmental integrity and that supports and is supported by economically viable, healthy human communities.
  • Goal for the indicators workshop—consensus on a list of key indicators focusing on the six major issues identified above, for which regional data will be compiled and tracked to indicate changing trends in ecosystem integrity throughout the region.

In addition to the work of the breakout groups, significant speakers at the workshop included U.S. Representative Tom Allen (cochair of the House Oceans Caucus) as well as members of a senior management panel, including Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Faith Scattolon (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada), Priscilla Brooks (Conservation Law Foundation), and Rick Spinrad (Assistant Administrator, NOAA's National Ocean Service).

Copies of all workshop briefing materials, participant lists, presentations, and results can be viewed or downloaded from the workshop Web site. A guidance document, "Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Framework for Science", from a similar USGS workshop held in January 2003, is available online.

Related Web Sites
Northeast Coastal Indicators Workshop
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Framework for Science - USGS Open-File Report 03-405
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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