Dr. Robert E. Wall, Chair, University of Maine Sea Grant College Program (NOAA Appointee)

Dr. David W. Townsend, Executive Director, University of Maine

The Gulf of Maine RMR Board has overall responsibility for the management and content of this program. The University of Maine serves as the administrative home and grantee institution for the program through an agreement between it and the board. Administrative costs are covered by NOAA funding.

The Gulf of Maine Marine Research Plan

A research plan, laying out the goals of the Gulf of Maine RMR Program, was developed in accord with the authorizing legislation, and with input from the Gulf of Maine scientific community through the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine. The plan includes a description of research needs and priorities for the next decade. It was reviewed by major interest groups in the region, and was subsequently approved by the NOAA/EPA RMRP Executive Council.

The Gulf of Maine RMRP Goals/Priorities—The 10-year goal of the Gulf of Maine Regional Marine Research Program is to work toward a suite of models that collectively simulate how the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, and its interacting components, function naturally and under stress.

Themes/Critical Research Needs—The primary objectives, during the early stages of the development of the Gulf of Maine RMR Program, will be to support research projects that meet initially-identified, high priority needs for scientific information, as laid out in the RMRP Gulf of Maine Research Plan (1992). These needs focus on:

  • patterns and mechanisms of transport of contaminants, including nutrients, and their effects on living marine resources; and

  • physical, chemical, and biological controls on noxious/excessive phytoplankton phenomena.

Strategy—The early development of a working model of the circulation of the Gulf of Maine was identified as a critical, initial research objective. Such a model will then provide a basis for follow-up research in other areas, such as studies of pollutant transport, nutrient budgets, and plankton spatial patterns, which will be necessary components of any future ecosystem models.

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