May 21, 2015

Louisiana Coastal Area Delta Management Ecosystem Model

Sponsors: Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and The Water Institute of the Gulf

Objectives: The objective of the Mississippi River Delta Management & Hydrodynamic Study Ecosystem Model is to determine how sediment and freshwater diversions in the lower Mississippi River Deltaic Plain affect the distribution and biomass of fish. To meet this objective, a spatially explicit ecosystem model representing the Mississippi River delta has been developed using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) software. This EwE Ecospace model is coupled to hydrodynamic models to receive environmental conditions that result from select combinations of river diversions. The model provides estimates of changes in biomass and distribution of fish species, and landings of targeted species, as a result of selected sediment and freshwater diversions, and thereby provides a means of testing management strategies before potential implementation.

Publication: De Mutsert, K., Lewis, K., Milroy, S., Buszowski, J., & Steenbeek, J. 2017. Using ecosystem modeling to evaluate trade-offs in coastal management: Effects of large-scale river diversions on fish and fisheries. Ecological Modelling360, 14-26.

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