BOX S.1 STATEMENT OF TASK

Interim Report questions:

1.  What methods are available for identifying and quantifying various ecosystem services? What are the spatial and temporal scales conducive to research, that provide meaningful information for the public and decision makers?

2.  What methods and types of information can be used to approximate baselines (but for the spill) for distinguishing effects on ecosystem services specific to the spill?

3.  What kinds of valuation methods are appropriate for measuring ecosystem services over time with regard to recovery under the following approaches: natural processes, mitigation, and restoration efforts? What baseline measures are available that would provide benchmarks for recovery and restoration efforts?

Final Report questions:

4.  What ecosystem services (provisioning, supporting, regulating, and cultural services) were provided in the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem prior to the oil spill? How do these differ among the subregions of the Gulf of Mexico?

5.  In general terms, how did the spill affect each of these services, and what is known about potential long-term impacts given the other stresses, such as coastal wetland loss, on the Gulf ecosystem?

6.  How do spill response technologies (e.g., dispersant use, coastal berm construction, absorbent booms, in situ burning) affect ecosystem services, taking into account the relative effectiveness of these techniques in removing or reducing the impacts of spilled oil?

7.  In light of the multiple stresses on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, what practical approaches can managers take to restore and increase the resiliency of ecosystem services to future events such as the Deep-water Horizon Mississippi Canyon-252 spill? How can the increase in ecosystem resiliency be measured?

8. What long-term research activities and observational systems are needed to understand, monitor, and value trends and variations in ecosystem services and to allow the calculation of indices to compare with benchmark levels as recovery goals for ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico?




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