Headline for Featured Item #1 ‘Gulf 360˚: State of the Gulf of Mexico’ Crosses Political Boundaries - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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‘Gulf 360˚: State of the Gulf of Mexico’ Crosses Political Boundaries

March 27, 2013


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi released the first comprehensive report on the socio-economics, habitat, and ecology of the three nations that share the world’s ninth-largest body of water on Monday, March 25, at the Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy Conference in New Orleans, La.

“Gulf 360˚: State of the Gulf of Mexico,” which was made possible by a grant from the Shell Exploration and Production Company, provides extensive data and information on the economic and ecological challenges facing the United States, Mexico and Cuba. Lead authors are Dr. David Yoskowitz, HRI Endowed Chair in Socio-Economics; Dr. Jim Gibeaut, HRI Endowed Chair for Geospatial Sciences; and Dr. Cuauhtemoc Leon, Researcher at Centro de Especialistas en Gestión Ambiental.

“While bringing this report together, one thing that became evident is that natural environments are fragmented by human-made geopolitical regions no matter what country you are in,” said Dr. Yoskowitz. “Effectively managing the Gulf waters and coast is very difficult because countries, states, counties, and municipios each have their own way of handling their resources. Ecosystems don’t respond to artificial boundaries and when we manage them differently we can get perverse outcomes.”

Compiled in partnership with scientists and researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), “Gulf 360˚” takes a holistic approach to the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to create a dialogue about the common interests the three countries have in protecting the Gulf’s ecology and economy.

“What we recognize is that the Gulf of Mexico is surrounded by three nations,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the HRI. “All of us are responsible for its health. This document reminds us all of just how closely we are linked together.”

The idea for “Gulf 360˚” was born in December 2011 at the State of the Gulf Summit in Houston, Texas, six months after “Gulf at a Glance: A Second Glance” was published. The data compiled by NOAA in that document focused on the Gulf waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and created a visual representation of important trends affecting the Gulf of Mexico. HRI scientists realized that it was essential to replicate that effort on a Gulf-wide basis and, over the next year, they collected data and information from many sources then digitally created maps in a GIS that includes Mexico and Cuba, the two other countries with a critical stake in assuring the Gulf’s long-term sustainable use and conservation.  “This was a tremendous effort by a lot of people who worked long and hard to bring data and information together from many different sources,” said Dr. Yoskowitz.  “In fact, we like to say that we weren’t comparing oranges to oranges, but oranges to limes to grapefruit. They are all citrus but just a little different. “We hope this first edition of ‘Gulf 360˚’ begins to tell a story that will help citizens from around the Gulf of Mexico understand what is similar amongst the three nations, what is different, and what connects us.”

To download this report, visit www.gulf360.org.

About the HRI: The Harte Research Institute, an endowed research component of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is dedicated to advancing the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Expertise at the Harte Research Institute (HRI) include the consequences and long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Harte Research Institute is made possible by an endowment from the Ed Harte family. For more information, go to http://www.harteresearchinstitute.org/.

About Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: Offering more than 60 of the most popular degree programs in the state, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has proudly provided a solid academic reputation, renowned faculty, and highly-rated degree programs since 1947.  The Island University has earned its spot as one of the top research institutions in Texas and supports two marine-oriented Ph.D. programs. For more information, go to http://www.tamucc.edu/.

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