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Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership announced

Portland, Maine -- On Friday, April 23, researchers from the U.S. and Canada will lay the groundwork to create an Internet-based portal that will provide on-demand access to oceanographic data from multiple institutions with tools to combine, view and analyze the data in ways that have not been possible before.

An initial 16 entities will form the Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership at their maiden meeting at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

For decades, a vast and growing storehouse of knowledge about the Gulf of Maine has been out of reach for many researchers, managers, educators and the public at large. Although research capacity has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of computer and sensor technology, valuable collections of biological, physical, chemical, and geologic oceanographic data from academic, public and private institutions have, in large part, remained in isolation from each other. The Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership will provide a means to collect, organize, combine, and make this data available online.

Participants include the federal fisheries science agencies and geologic survey organizations of the U.S. and Canada, several state agencies and academic and nonprofit organizations in the U.S., the Atlantic Ecology Division of the EPA, and the regional Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System1 (GoMOOS), which is hosting the Partnership. The meeting is being convened by the Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life, a regional program that is a component of a large global effort to better understand the abundance and diversity of life in the seas2.

According to Evan Richert, Program Director for the Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life at the University of Southern Maine, "For the first time, these data collections will be able to be shared, on an ongoing basis, so that anyone scientist, teacher, or fisherman can better see the Gulf of Maine in its fullness, as a complete ecos
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Contact: Evan Richert
erichert@usm.maine.edu
207-780-4824
Census of Marine Life
22-Apr-2004


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