The writers discuss three critically important steps necessary for achieving the goal for improved integrated approaches on watershed and coastal protection and management. These steps involve modernization of monitoring networks, creation of common data and web services infrastructures, and development of modeling, assessment, and research tools. Long-term monitoring is needed for tracking the effectiveness approaches for controlling land-based sources of nutrients, contaminants, and invasive species. The integration of mapping and monitoring with conceptual and mathematical models, and multidisciplinary assessments is important in making well-informed decisions. Moreover, a better integrated data network is essential for mapping, statistical, and modeling applications, and timely dissemination of data and information products to a broad community of users.
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USGS perspectives on an integrated approach to watershed and coastal management