Ocean health in the northeast United States from 2005-2017.
The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is a framework for quantitatively assessing ocean health on a scale of 0 to 100 by measuring discrete benefits (termed "goals") provided by the marine ecosystem. It has been applied in many places around the world to assess regional ocean health, including British Columbia, the Baltic Sea, Hawaii, and more. This paper tailors the OHI to the US Northeast, assessing recent trends in ocean health annually for the time period of 2005-2017. Over 50 datasets is synthesized to calculate scores for eight goals including Food Provision, Biodiversity, Clean Waters, Sense of Place, Tourism & Recreation, Resource Access Opportunities, Livelihoods & Economies and Habitat Services. The study includes a data quality analysis that managers can use to help guide future regional data collection and management efforts that could ultimately improve the understanding of the region's ocean health.