Looks like everything’s on track to release Version 2.2 of the South Atlantic Blueprint and the new Blueprint implementation strategy next month. The GIS layers are final, so your staff are just cleaning up the documentation, getting the viewers updated, etc.
Here are the major improvements in this latest Blueprint update:
- Updated two indicators to reflect most recent data (resilient biodiversity hotspots, unaltered beach)
- Added one new indicator: Marine birds. This improved a number of things about the marine priorities, including resolving the known issue of under-prioritizing part of the right whale calving grounds off the coast of FL and GA.
- Improved corridor methods: This fixed a number of the corridor route issues that came up in Blueprint workshops.
- Stopped prioritizing open water in lakes and reservoirs: The previous approach for doing this was causing a number of issues brought up in workshop reviews.
- Improved use of low-urban historic landscape indicator within cities: This resolved a known Blueprint issue that also came up in the workshops.
- Increased area of priority in Piedmont uplands: Piedmont uplands were being negatively impacted by the previous approach to dealing with lakes and reservoirs. Changes in that approach helped address workshop concerns about insufficient priority in Piedmont uplands.
- Improved documentation of known issues: Thanks to a number of eagle-eyed reviewers and additional testing/validation of this latest Blueprint, more known issues have been added to the Blueprint documentation. Many of these were present in previous Blueprint version but just weren’t documented.
For those looking for a Blueprint that goes beyond the South Atlantic, an update to the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) Blueprint, which uses this latest version of the South Atlantic Blueprint and connects with other Blueprints throughout the South, will also be ready for release next month.