Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

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Conservation Coordinator 

    Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Integrating data for protecting Gulf of Mexico barrier islands

Formal Title: Barrier Island Vulnerability Data Integration and Assessment

Research Focus: Gulf of Mexico barrier islands

Conservation & Management Challenges:

Fragile barrier islands are important nesting habitat for focal species of the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, such as brown pelicans, sea turtles, and black skimmers. Assessing the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems at a Gulf of Mexico-wide scale has become even more important in the wake of several destructive storms (e.g. Katrina, Rita, and Ike) and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Research Overview:

Developing this science is a priority for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The project, part of a broader effort called the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment, involves identifying gaps in data and integrating datasets and corresponding metadata required for a Gulf of Mexico-wide assessment of conditions and variables affecting barrier island vulnerability. Morphologic and geospatial datasets will later be incorporated into the Conservation Planning Atlas, an emerging technology that makes a vast amount of geospatial data more easily accessible and available at no cost to conservation partners.


Final Report

View the Gulf Barrier Island webinar presentation of project results

Gulf of Mexico Barrier Islands gallery of datasets on the GCP LCC Conservation Planning Atlas

Access Barrier Island vulnerability project reports on ScienceBase


The six-month project was initiated and completed in 2014. It is being funded by the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.


Principal Investigator: James C. Gibeaut, Ph.D., Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, Information and Data Cooperative, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5869, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5869

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506

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