The mission of the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program is:
To carry out research, observation, and monitoring to support, to the maximum extent practicable, the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, fish stocks, fish habitat, and the recreational, commercial, and charter-fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
The overarching goal for the Program is to:
Support the science and coordination necessary for better understanding and management of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, leading to:
- Healthy, diverse, sustainable, and resilient estuarine, coastal and marine habitats and living resources (including wildlife and fisheries); and
- Resilient and adaptive coastal communities.
The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program seeks the following outcomes:
- The Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem is understood in an integrative, holistic manner; and
- Management of, and restoration activities within, the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem are guided by this ecosystem understanding.
The Program’s guiding principles help direct the approach and scope of the Program and include:
- Address key research priorities, with emphasis on long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, including its fish stocks, fishing industries, wildlife, and habitat;
- Leverage existing partnerships established among federal, state, academic, and NGO activities and develop new partnerships as appropriate;
- Integrate monitoring and research within a management and policy framework, focusing on understanding ecosystem processes and the factors that drive such processes, not just patterns of species and habitat abundance and distribution:
- Be scalable and modular, to the extent possible, so the program can be adapted to the available funding and reflect changing needs; and
- Consider the full geographic scope of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
For a complete list of the guiding principles, see the Science Plan Framework.