Public Admin Record

MDBC Mapping Ground-truthing and Modeling (MGM) Project Records

This is a public repository for the MDBC Mapping, Ground-truthing, and Predictive Habitat Modeling (MGM) Project. This includes documents and products that are pertinent to the MGM Project and stakeholders but are not appropriate for the MDBC Portfolio Deliverables repository, or archives like NCEI and the NOAA Institutional Repository. Project reports and documents are also available on the DWH Restoration Portal project record. Documents and products related to the other project teams (HAE, CPT, and AMP) and Portfolio Deliverables can be accessed by navigating to the DWH MDBC Portfolio Project Page.

About the Mapping, Ground-truthing, and Predictive Habitat Modeling Project [click to display]

The abundance and distribution of Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities (MDBC) across the Gulf of Mexico are not completely known, particularly in deeper waters, presenting a challenge to decision-making for restoration, management, and protection and to evaluations of DWH injuries and recovery. This project will conduct high-resolution mapping efforts in both mesophotic and deep benthic habitats and use this information to refine predictive models to improve the effectiveness and cost efficiency of future restoration and mapping efforts. This project will also analyze the abundance and distribution of these communities, as well as provide data on depth ranges, densities, and distributions of specific coral species. The data collected in this project will provide fundamental information to prioritize and support MDBC protection and management activities and to identify potential locations for direct restoration activities.

About the MDBC Portfolio [click to display]

In 2016, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees reached a settlement resulting from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process to resolve BP Exploration and Production’s liability for natural resource injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the settlement requires BP to pay up to $8.8 billion dollars to federal and state trustees for the purposes of restoring natural resources that were injured by the spill, and the services they provided. More details can be found at the Deepwater Horizon NRDA page: A Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico.

The DWH Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group (OO TIG) includes the four federal Trustee agencies: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The trustees work together to plan and conduct restoration for species injured by the oil spill, including wide-ranging and migratory species. Questions about the OO TIG can be directed to Additional information can be found in the DWH Administrative Record.

Mesophotic and deep benthic communities (MDBC) are vast and complex ecosystems on the ocean floor that are a foundation of Gulf of Mexico food webs. The MDBC portfolio is a suite of four projects selected by the OO TIG to restore MDBC injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The four projects include: Mapping, Ground-truthing, and Predictive Habitat Modeling (MGM), Habitat Assessment and Evaluation (HAE), Coral Propagation Technique Development (CPT), and Active Management and Protection (AMP).