Forecasting of Riverine Inflows

Full Title: From planning to adaptive management: Natural resources decision making in response to the allocation of riverine inflows in the northern Gulf of Mexico

This project will result in a management and forecast system that allows resource managers to explore tradeoffs from restoration strategies as well as examine and optimize various riverine inflows.

A visual depiction of the framework for the proposed interactive forecast system
Image provided by Ehab Meselhe

Lead Investigator: Ehab A. Meselhe, Tulane University, emeselhe@tulane.edu

Natural Resource Managers: Steve Giordano (National Marine Fisheries Service) and James Lewis (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) 

Collaborators: Allison, Kleiss (Tulane Univ); White (LSU); Cambazoglu and Wiggert (Univ of S. Mississippi); Tian (Auburn Univ); Lewis (Univ of C. Florida); Martin (Univ of Miami); Steyer (USGS); Nelitz (ESSA Technologies). Madill (National Charrette Institute – Michigan State Univ); Fischer (LA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries); Hunter (AL Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources); Whitbeck and Ford (NPS); Flowers (NOAA – National Water Center); Burke (NOAA – NOS)

Federal Program Officer/Point of Contact: Frank Parker (frank.parker@noaa.gov)

Award Amount: $124,926 

Award Period: This project began in September 2021 and will end in August 2022.

Why it matters: An estimated 79 to 92% of all freshwater enters the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River system. These riverine inflows are a foundational driver to the system. Without fully understanding the effects of the inflows, federal agencies are challenged with properly prioritizing funding toward restoration projects that adaptively manage natural resources and that mitigate for undesirable impacts such as hypoxia, high turbidity, and harmful algal blooms from freshwater releases. This project will guide prioritization of funding, siting, and design of proposed restoration projects and will incorporate adaptive management strategies and guide the management of riverine inflows in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

What the team is doing: The project team will co-develop a management and forecast system that supports timely predictions of key parameters to aid the decision-making processes. The proposed participatory approach will use structured decision-making to capture stakeholder values and ensure full engagement among resource managers and researchers. The project team will collaborate with other regulatory agencies to incorporate their perspectives. 

Expected outcome: This project will result in a framework toward the development of a management and forecast system made public and directly accessible to resource managers through a web-based dashboard. The system will allow managers to explore tradeoffs from restoration strategies and examine and optimize various riverine inflows.