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Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota

Volume 4, Ecosystem-Based Management

John W. Day

Publication Year: 2013

The fourth volume in the Harte Research Institute’s landmark scientific series on the Gulf of Mexico provides a comprehensive study of ecosystem-based management, analyzing key coastal ecosystems in eleven Gulf Coast states from Florida to Quintana Roo and presenting case studies in which this integrated approach was tested in both the US and in Mexico. Two overview chapters cover related information on Cuba and on coastal zone management in Mexico. The comprehensive data on management policies and practices in this volume give researchers, policy makers, and other concerned parties the most up-to-date information available, supporting and informing initiatives to sustain healthy ecosystems so that they can, in turn, sustain human social and economic systems in this important transnational region.

Combined with the second volume in this series, which examines the coastal and ocean-based economy of the Gulf region, Ecosystem-Based Management provides pivotal empirical information on how human activity can be managed in an environmentally sustainable way. This important research points the way to better stewardship of the Gulf’s valuable natural resources, ensuring their availability for future generations.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, Sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4


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pp. v-vii

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Foreword: Fifty- Year Update of Bulletin 89

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pp. ix-xiv

Just about 60 years ago, a group of prominent marine scientists of their day agreed to begin work on a digest of existing knowledge on the Gulf of Mexico. The effort was proposed by Lionel A. Walford of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Waldo L. Schmitt of the US National Museum of Natural History, during a meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in...

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pp. xv-20

Coastal environmental management for the Gulf of Mexico requires timely and appropriate policy management integrating coastal management with large marine ecosystem management (Yáñez- Arancibia and Day 2004a) to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the Gulf of Mexico as a biocomplex system (Yáñez- Arancibia and Day 2004b; Boesch...

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1 The Salinity Transition Zone Between theSouthern Everglades and Florida Bay

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pp. 1-24

Like many ecosystems around the world, the Florida Everglades is threatened by global change. One of the world’s largest wetlands, it was described at one time as a vast, free- flowing “river of grass” extending from the Kissimmee chain of lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay (Douglas 1988). These...

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2 Use of Models in Ecosystem- Based Management of the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay, Florida

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pp. 25-52

...national parks, the populated eastern coastal ridge, and Florida Figure 2.2. Map of Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) plan components.Figure 2.5. Monthly range and mean of salinity in eastern, central and western Florida Bay from 1989 to 2001. Trends show a decline from hypersaline levels in 1989 through 2001 in the eastern and central bay to more normal marine salinities through the second half of the 1990s. Hypersaline conditions remerged in 2000 and 2001, most notably in the central bay. Source: Boyer and ...

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3 Ecosystem- Based Management of the Apalachicola River– Apalachicola Bay System, Florida

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pp. 53-70

Temperate, river- dominated estuaries are among the most productive and economically valuable aquatic resources in the world. However, alluvial systems have been seriously damaged by various human activities. Estuarine primary production, based on loading of nutrients and organic compounds from associated rivers, is one of the most important processes in...

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4 Ecosystem- Based Management of Mobile Bay, Alabama

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pp. 71-92

Most marine communities are inextricably linked with other communities by both the passive and active transport of materials and organisms via currents, larval drift , and active migrations. Cross- habitat movement of nutrients, detritus, prey, and consumers (i.e., spatial subsidies) all exert major eff ects on populations and food webs (for example, Vetter 1994, 1995; Persson et al. 1996; Polis and Hurd 1996, Polis and Strong...

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5 Integrated Coastal Management in the Mississippi Delta

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pp. 93-108

The Mississippi Delta is one of the largest and most important coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and one of the most important natural habitats in North America. It is very important, ecologically and economically, to both the state of Louisiana and to the nation. The coastal ecosystems of the delta provide habitat for fish and wildlife, produce food, regulate chemical transformations, maintain water...

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6 Ecosystem- Based Management of Galveston Bay, Texas

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pp. 109-130

Our objectives are to describe the ecosystem of the Galveston Bay estuary, before significant modification, on the basis of historical maps and reports; to explain the modifications to the original ecosystem in support of consumptive and extractive uses and their impacts on the original ecosystem, and to suggest changes that must occur in current management systems to implement...

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7 Ecosystem- Based Management in the Laguna Madre, Western Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 131-152

The unique geomorphic setting of the Laguna Madre ecosystem was first described by Enriquez Barroto when, on 8 March 1867, he sailed into the Río de las Palmas (now Soto La Marina, Tamaulipas). Three days later, he rowed into a water body he named Laguna de Ysmuth and described it as a river that paralleled the coast. He continued to refer to this “river” as he traveled northward along Padre Island, Texas (Bartlett 2002...

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8 Mexico- United States Shared Environmental Problems in the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin Ecosystem

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pp. 153-166

The Rio Grande/Río Bravo is a troubled source of life for the environment and the people that its ecosystems support. The United States and Mexico share many common problems along this legendary river, and the extent to which they work together will determine not only the future of the river but the future of the inhabitants of the river basin as well. The environmental stressors are a list too familiar: dewatering...

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9 Ecosystem FunctioningThe Basis for Sustainable Managementof Terminos Lagoon, Campeche Mexico

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pp. 167-200

Terminos Lagoon (Laguna de Términos) is one of the key ecosystems for tropical estuarine and coastal ecology, and over the last 35 years, this ecosystem in the southern Gulf of Mexico has been the focus of national and international attention because of its ecological and economic importance and the actual and potential effects of human activities (Day et al...

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10 The Role of Participation in Ecosystem- Based Management

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pp. 201-212

This volume argues that the future management in the Gulf of Mexico should be directed toward a combination of integrated coastal management with large marine ecosystem management, and the system approach for coastal ecosystem- based management (Yáñez- Arancibia and Day 2004a; Yáñez- Arancibia et al. Chapter 9 of this volume). Such a focus emphasizes ecosystem functioning, and the biophysical processes that give rise to ecological subregions, including...

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11 Ecosystem Approach Based on Environmental Units for Management of the Centla Wetlands Biosphere Reserve

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pp. 213-224

After the official decree that established the Centla Wetlands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) (Diario Oficial de la Federación 1992), and the publication of its management program by the National Institute of Ecology (Instituto Nacional de Ecología, INE), a subsidiary body of the Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Fisheries (Secretaria del Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca, SEMARNAP)...

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12 Landscape, Land Use, and Management in the Coastal Zone of Yucatan Peninsula

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pp. 225-242

To reach the sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems, we must first understand the interrelationship between diff erent physical and biological components controlling the functioning and dynamics that regulate the systems. This ecosystem approach is especially applicable in coastal environments because they are the final destination of all drainage basins regardless...

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13 Biogeochemistry of Gulf of Mexico Estuaries

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pp. 243-252

The field of biogeochemistry involves the study of how biological, chemical, and geological processes interact to determine the fate and effects of materials that influence the metabolism of ecosystems. An understanding of the role that biogeochemical and physical processes play in regulating the chemistry and biology of estuaries is fundamental to evaluating complex...

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14 Global Climate Change Impacts on CoastalEcosystems in the Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 253-272

Global climate change is important in considerations of integrated coastal management in the Gulf of Mexico. This is true for a number of reasons. Climate in the Gulf spans the range from tropical to the lower part of the temperate zone. Thus, as climate warms, the tropical– temperate interface, which is currently mostly off shore in the Gulf of Mexico, will increasingly move over the coastal zone of the northern and eastern parts of the Gulf. Currently, this interface is...

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15 Sea- Level Rise and Vulnerability of Coastal Lowlands in the Mexican Areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

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pp. 273-290

A number of coastal settings are present in Mexico, both in the Pacifi c Ocean, to the west, and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east, comprising a total length of 10,554 km of frontal coast open to the sea. With the coastal lagoons and islands, this totals about 24,945 km of coastline (Ortiz Pérez and De La Lanza 2006). These shorelines, to a greater or lesser extent, are subject to the rise in mean sea...

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16 Southwestern Gulf of Mexico Reefs

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pp. 291-304

Coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico are found not along the continental shelves, but rather in restricted locations where environmental conditions have been adequate for the coral biota to build up the reefs. Because coral reefs are determined by the environmental particularities of the location where they are formed, the formations in the southwestern Gulf are...

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17 Coral Reef Management and Conservation in the Southern Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 305-318

Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and productive, as well as complex, ecosystems on earth. Additionally, they are important to local, regional, and global economies as sources of food and medicinal products, for protection of fragile shorelines from storm damage and erosion, as a heritage of cultural values and for great natural beauty, and vast revenues...

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18 Considerations for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management in the Southern Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 319-336

All fi shing nations are under international pressure to implement an ecosystem approach in their domestic fisheries and in any international fishery in which they participate. The importance of the ecosystem approach to fisheries was recognized in 1991 by 47 countries participating in the Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem. The signing parties declared “that in an effort to reinforce responsible...

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19 Ecosystem- Based Management of Coasta lFisheries in the Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 337-370

Fisheries are an excuse for doing the right thing. In the public mind, fishes are good for something and adequate justification for resource management policies and actions that also serve other aspects of the public trust. To quote Aldo Leopold (1949), “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Thus, identifying fish needs and managing...

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20 Systems Approach for Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management in the Gulf of Mexico

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pp. 371-398

The Gulf of Mexico is a shared resource among Mexico, Cuba, and the United States and is at severe risk because of the following major problems: (1) freshwater use and shortage, (2) pollution, (3) habitat modifications and wetlands loss, (4) unsustainable development of living resources, (5) global climate change, (6) poor public education, and (7) weak political...

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21 Perspectives of Mangrove Ecosystem Management in Cuba

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pp. 399-416

Mangrove ecosystems are a signifi cant—if not a dominant— feature of Cuban coastlines. The Cuban mangrove heritage is among the largest in area of any country in the neotropics. Although the mangrove forests of the island have been pressured by agricultural conversion, loss to urbanization and coastal development, hydrological alteration, and timber extraction, as have mangroves in all American nations, their overall...

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22 Toward a Regional Program for ICZM in the Mexican Area of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean

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pp. 417-444

Thirty percent of the 11,593 km Mexican littoral zone corresponds to the coastal zone of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea (Zárate Lomelí et al. 1999; Caso et al. 2004; Zárate Lomelí et al. 2004). This is a very valuable region for the country in ecological, social, and economic terms because of its:...


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pp. 445-450


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pp. 451-460

E-ISBN-13: 9781603447768
E-ISBN-10: 1603447768
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603447652

Page Count: 480
Illustrations: 9 color, 1 b&w photos. 7 line art. 62 maps. 55 figs. 53 tables. Appendix. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, Sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi