a more detailed map than Figure 5 of the Strategic Plan), that are relevant to vital marine resources and to U.S. economic interests.
Finally, as is the case for all Themes—and as is discussed in depth in Chapter 2—there is a lack of information concerning prioritization of the different activities that are proposed and the metrics that would be used to evaluate how effectively different research and monitoring activities are moving toward realization of the program goals.
In summary: To convey more effectively the rationale for chemical and biological monitoring, the Strategic Plan needs to describe at the beginning the potential consequences of ocean acidification and the importance of monitoring for tracking ocean acidification-related changes in marine chemistry and biology. In addition, an explicit description of the various purposes for monitoring the chemical parameters would improve the Strategic Plan. The role of evolving technology, notably for in situ measurements, must be taken into account to ensure that the most powerful new methods are integrated into monitoring programs. Thus, integration of Themes 1 and 4 is important. Because the biological parameters to be monitored will likely evolve with an increasing understanding of the impacts, it is important that the Strategic Plan describe a process for reevaluating the inventory of biological measurements chosen for monitoring purposes. Themes 1 and 2 therefore should be integrated. Lastly, monitoring should also include the socioeconomic information needed to address the societal challenges related to ocean acidification (Theme 5).
The FOARAM Act mandates “[r]esearch to understand the species specific physiological responses of marine organisms to ocean acidification, impacts on marine food webs of ocean acidification, and to develop environmental and ecological indices that track marine ecosystem responses to ocean acidification.” This broad Program Element of the Act encompasses the wide impacts of ocean acidification and the tasks described herein are closely related to activities essential for achieving goals presented in many of the other Themes in the Strategic Plan. Thus, in the analysis below we focus not only on the extent to which the Strategic Plan addresses its primary Element of the FOARAM Act, but also on how well it integrates Theme 2 with the other relevant Themes.
The goals in this section of the Strategic Plan are consistent with the requirements of the FOARAM Act, as well as the many previous reports that were used as resources for developing the Plan. Given the complexities of organismal physiology and ecosystem structure and function,