Coastal Smart Growth Home: Getting Started: Define Indicators
A measure or model that characterizes an ecosystem or a component of an ecosystem. An indicator might reflect biological, chemical or physical attributes of a condition and can be used to track and predict change, and identify ecosystem stress.
How to Get Started
This guide by the EPA includes 15 technical procedures to evaluate how suitable an indicator is for a specific monitoring plan. Chapter 1 describes the procedures. Chapters 2, 3, and 4, demonstrate the application of indicators in various stages.
The Ecosystem Indicator Partnership, a committee under the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is developing indicators for the Gulf of Maine using regional data and web-based reporting. The 6 indicator areas are: coastal development, contaminants and pathogens, eutrophication, aquatic habitat, fisheries and aquaculture, and climate change.
This list of indicators by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, provides a list of indicators and an interactive map to track each in relation to Chesapeake Bay health.
This guide by the National Environmental Services Center, provides information on assessing the conditions of local ecosystems through identifying indicators based on chosen objectives, and overviews indicators in communities through tools, techniques, and case studies.