Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas

The Gulf of Mexico endured historic degradation and destruction from hurricanes and man-made disasters in the last decade, e.g., Hurricane Isidore (2002), Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), Hurricane Ike (2008), and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, federal and state agencies empowered to respond to these disasters came to NOAA for data and information that described baseline environmental conditions in the Gulf. In 1985, NOAA's National Ocean Service published the "Gulf of Mexico Coastal and Ocean Zones Strategic Assessment Data Atlas." This publication continues to serve as one of NOAA's primary references for the spatial footprint of key ecosystem components. This new, comprehensive, high-resolution, Internet-based data atlas provides information necessary to answer questions regarding the current conditions of the coastal/marine environment, coastal infrastructure, and the socioeconomic status and trends of the Gulf of Mexico.

Goal of Data Atlas

On January 28, 2011, a Gulf Data Atlas Workshop was held at Grand Bay National Estuarine Reserve to assess user needs and requirements related to the development of a pilot digital data atlas for the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this pilot Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas is to demonstrate to NOAA, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, state agencies and constituents the value of producing a full-scale atlas from which to formulate the response necessary to restore the Gulf.