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Boundary options for a research area within Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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  • Description:
    Abstract/executive summary -- Introduction -- Methods -- Extracting data from each option -- Comparing options -- Scoring the data from each RA option -- Effect of rotation -- Effect of boundary size -- Step-wise elimination -- Examples -- Results -- Histogram distributions -- Category score distributions -- Results of size comparisons -- Results of rotation comparisons -- Spatial distribution of scores and options -- Possible score combinations -- Discussion -- Final recommendations -- Acknowledgments -- Glossary -- References -- Appendices: Appendix A: Research area working group (RAWG) Participants and affiliations -- Appendix B: RAWG Matrix 2, considerations for the value of a research area -- Appendix C: RAWG Matrix 4, summary of proposed studies within the research area -- Appendix D: RAWG Matrix 5B, RAWG consensus on potential boundary sizes prior to the present analysis -- Appendix E: Distribution of values and scores for each variable -- Appendix F: Variable values of the eight options shown in figure 14.

    Gray s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) is exploring the concept of a research area (RA) within its boundaries. The idea of a research area was first suggested in public scoping meetings held prior to the review of the Gray s Reef Management Plan. An RA is a region specifically designed for conducting controlled scientific studies in the absence of confounding factors. As a result, a multidisciplinary group gathered by GRNMS was convened to consider the issue. This Research Area Working Group (RAWG) requested that a suite of analyses beconducted to evaluate the issue quantitatively. To meet this need, a novel selection procedure and geographic information system (GIS) was created to find the optimal location for an RA while balancing the needs of research and existing users. This report and its associated GIS files describe the results of the requested analyses and enable further quantitative investigation of this topic by the RAWG and GRNMS.

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