This week it was announced that Iain and I won the coastal data contest held by the US EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS, link here). We will use the $2000 prize to write up our formal analysis for the grand prize in January.
Our paper linked benthic ecosystem data over time with socio-economic data from coastal communities in Florida and the Gulf region whose economies depend largely on the marine industry. We used a categorical output of ecosystem health as a function of median income, percent of the local economy dependent on marine resources, and several other socio-economic indicators.
The final part of the contest involves actually running the numbers in our proposed statistical model, and is due in January. Until then we will continue to survey the work already done that links communities in Florida and the Gulf and their blue economy.