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Assessing Aquatic Habitats and Threats

The North Atlantic LCC has launched a project to develop a decision support tool for assessing aquatic habitats and threats in watersheds and estuaries of the region.
Assessing Aquatic Habitats and Threats

Eastern brook trout. USFWS

Working with the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, the North Atlantic LCC has launched a project to develop a decision support tool for assessing aquatic habitats and threats in watersheds and estuaries of the region. Selected following a competitive grant process in 2012, Downstream Strategies is leading the tool development effort. During the first year of the project, effort was focused organizing project partners, assembling regional data and beginning pilot habitat modeling for the first fish species selected, winter flounder. Ultimately, the tool will allow resource managers to visualize and manipulate information on aquatic habitats and threats for multiple coastal and aquatic species to prioritize areas for conservation action as an aquatic complement to the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project. The LCC and Downstream Strategies also are working with the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture on a case study to develop a prototype brook trout habitat/restoration prioritization tool to be available for testing during late summer 2014.  A team of leaders representing these conservation partnerships are currently assembling and organizing data, evaluating and addressing data gaps, and determining appropriate next steps for the project.
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