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Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard Webinars and Workshop

The Ocean Protection Council, in collaboration with NOAA and the Ocean Science Trust, hosted a webinar series and workshop in March of 2011 on the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS), a national effort to create a marine ecological classification scheme developed through a partnership between NOAA and NatureServe. CMECS provides a structure for developing and synthesizing data so that ecological units can be identified, characterized, and mapped in a standard way and at a variety of scales. The OPC is evaluating the potential of CMECS to address coastal and marine management needs in California.

The four webinars provided details about the individual components of CMECS. Following the webinar series, a one-day workshop was held in Oakland on March 30, 2011. The workshop discussion focused on evaluating the application of the CMECS framework in the context of California’s priority management needs and identifying essential criteria for a potential pilot project. The OPC intends to use the workshop to foster discussion on the best approach to integrate physical, biological, and chemical information to determine marine habitat type and understand the ecosystem processes that affect them.