The National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Gulf Research Program hosted a workshop on 3-4 September 2014 in New Orleans, LA to identify and analyze opportunities for Gulf environmental monitoring. Through panel discussion and breakout sessions, about 35 key workshop participants identified environmental monitoring needs within the following two areas of opportunity:

  1. Developing ecosystem services models to inform existing and planned habitat restoration; and
  2. Improving our understanding of the physical and biological attributes of the deep Gulf of Mexico to enhance environmental protection from the impacts of oil exploration in the deep and ultra-deep water.

Participants also discussed technological and methodological innovations that could help address these monitoring needs, identified monitoring opportunities uniquely suited to the Gulf Research Program’s 30-year duration, and identified opportunities for partnerships and leveraging of resources.

The GCOOS-RA was invited to present at the workshop.  Landry Bernard and Stephanie Watson developed a presentation called, “The GCOOS Build-out Plan for a Gulf Observing System:  Environmental Monitoring Needs and Opportunities for Innovation and Long-term Monitoring.”  See the presentation at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/documents/PosterPresentations/GCOOS-BOP-NAS-Sept-2014.pdf . For more information about the NAS Gulf Research Program, see http://www.nas.edu/gulf/index.html .