Benefits of Geographic Information Systems for State and Regional Ocean Management

TitleBenefits of Geographic Information Systems for State and Regional Ocean Management
Publication TypeReport
AuthorsGood, JW
Series EditorSowers, D
Department NameOregon Sea Grant, Special Report 99-01
Date PublishedOctober 1999
Organization NameOregon State University
LocationCorvallis, OR, USA
KeywordsSea grant; Geographic Information Systems; Ocean Management

The principal goal of this study was to determine the potential benefits of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to manage marine resources and ocean space, emphasizing state ocean interests. We also wanted to know how these benefits might foster more integration in ocean management, as well as more equity, efficiency, and effectiveness in decision making. Another question was the perceived value and utility of the regional approaches, such as the Southeast Ocean Planning Information System (OPIS), versus less ambitious, more limited geographic area approaches. The role of the Internet in GIS data sharing was also of interest, given the exponential growth in its use over the last decade and expected growth in the future. To answer these questions, we developed 23 coastal state “profiles” on ocean management activities and GIS use, based on literature review and interviews of key state personnel. Two states that illustrated a range of ocean management activism were selected for more in-depth cases (Maine and Florida), along with the regional Southeast OPIS. Because of its proximity to the researchers, Oregon was also examined in more depth than other states, but was not the subject of a full case study. In addition, a special workshop in conjunction with the conference, Coastal Geotools 99, was held to get face-to-face perspectives and examples to supplement the interview and case study process.