proach focuses not only on the restoration of damaged resources but also on establishing and maintaining the usefulness of those resources to the public. Implementation of an ecosystem services approach would require a detailed understanding of the complex linkages among various ecosystem components (ecological production function) in addition to well-established baseline data, both of which are lacking to various degrees in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonetheless, given the vast amount of data currently being collected and research being conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, the committee believes that efforts to apply an ecosystem services approach to the DWH spill would greatly improve understanding of the full suite of impacts and greater options for achieving restoration of the critical services of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

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