Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict how our actions would impact all the ecosystems of the South Atlantic? How does forest management impact water quantity, quality, and aquatic species? How do oyster reefs affect marine fish? How about economic incentives and different types of land protection—how do actions on a specific parcel impact freshwater and marine resources downsteam? How do climate change and urban growth interact with that?

There are ton of models developed, or in development, to answer those questions. I’ve already been using some of these models to help Blueprint users bring in new conservation funds to the region. The tricky thing is that it takes a bunch of time, and the models aren’t all connected. Over the next few years I’ll be working on connecting a number of these models together. That way, when you, or others you’re working with, are looking a possible actions on a parcel, there’ll be a way to quickly predict how those actions impact the land, freshwater, and marine resources of the region.

It certainly won’t be perfect, especially at first, but will hopefully allow us to take another big step in ecosystem-based management for the South Atlantic!