The Gulf of Maine Regional Ocean Science Initiative

Overview - Ecosystem-Level Management

The Council will use a "bottoms-up" approach to identify management goals for the region that identifies stakeholders' top priority questions and the science needed to address these questions. In keeping with the definition of integrated ecosystem-level management, the approach will integrate human needs and expectations in the development of the plan. The Northeast Sea Grant College Program Advisory and Extension staff will create an outreach plan for technology transfer of research and monitoring data and information through training sessions and outreach materials.

Integrated Ecosystem-Level Management

Integrated ecosystem-level management recognizes humans as part of the ecosystem and addresses issues of uncertainty, complexity, dynamic process changes over time and space, and is dedicated to sustaining valued services and goods.

    There are eight characteristics of an integrated ecosystem-level management approach (Christiansen 1996)

  • Focus is on sustainability rather than "deliverables"
  • Measurable goals are set with time lines
  • Sound ecological models incorporates understanding at all levels
  • Focus on preserving the complexity and connectedness
  • Understanding the dynamic processes and how they change
  • Working within multiple temporal and spatial scales
  • Inclusion of humans and societal values in management
  • Adoption of adaptive management and accountability