March 25, 2013
In March the Aquarium of the Pacific convened a workshop gathering representatives from aquariums across the United States to discuss preparedness for extreme weather-related events. The goal was to develop a flexible framework to be used by Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) institutions to educate their visitors as well as decision-makers about extreme weather-related events. In this way, CELC institutions would help to increase resilience of the communities they serve to those events.
Representatives from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, New York Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Texas State Aquarium, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA National Weather Service, and GIS software and services firm Esri were in attendance.
Representatives from the various aquariums gave brief reports on extreme weather-related events of concern in their regions. Using a map of CELC locations around the United States, workshop participants looked for potential partnerships with regional agencies, such as the NOAA National Weather Service offices and NOAA Coastal Program Offices.
Other topics covered included GIS applications for community resiliency, opportunities for public education and outreach, and how to coordinate those opportunities in a framework that could be offered to the national CELC network.
A report of the workshop’s activities and outcomes will be released in the coming weeks.