WHAT: The Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information required to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region. This plan identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the region over the next three to five years.
WHERE: NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center supports stewardship of living marine resources across a broad and unique region spanning three large marine ecosystems: the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast Atlantic, and the Caribbean Sea.
WHY: The Gulf contains a diverse range of habitats, including unique coral systems atop salt domes, high relief carbonate banks, and shallow coastal ecosystems that support a variety of commercially and recreationally important marine fish and shellfish. Understanding how the major climate drivers affect the distribution and abundance of marine species, their habitats and their prey is important to effective management. Climate-related factors expected to impact the Gulf of Mexico include warming ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Decision-makers need actionable information on how changing climate and ocean conditions will impact this region’s marine resources, and what can be done to reduce impacts and increase resilience.