Managing Information for Regional Coastal Management in the Gulf of Maine

by Peter J. Ricketts, Saint Mary's Univ, Halifax, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


In December, 1989, the Governors of the three American states and the Premiers of the two Canadian provinces facing the Gulf of Maine signed an historic agreement that will pave the way for a co-operative approach to management of the coastal and marine resources of the region. In a separate unprecedented pilot study, known as the FMG (Bay of Fundy, Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank) Project, Canadian federal and provincial governments, universities and representative industries have co-operated to develop a regional geographic information system for the Gulf of Maine. The combination of these two separate initiatives presents a fortuitous situation that could establish a precedent for regional coastal management in international waters. This paper highlights the lessons learned from the FMG process with regard to the development of an integrated, multi-faceted information system designed specifically to meet the needs of government and industry decision-makers regarding regional planning and strategic assessment. Some of the major problems associated with the development of the GIS database are discussed, together with an analysis of the implications for data collection methodologies and data quality assessment. The paper concludes with a discussion of the application of the FMG System within the context of the Gulf of Maine planning initiative, and will make suggestions for the development of an effective regional data and information management system.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Information management | Coastal management | Gulfs | Information systems | Geographic information systems | Federal government | Industries | Gulf of Maine | Maine | United States

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