Gulf of Mexico regional focus sets NGI apart from other NOAA-funded Cooperative Institutes. NGI was founded on the principle of ecosystem-based management in a regional setting. NGI research seeks to develop applications that address regional management needs. Allying with prominent entities within the region and performing collaborative research efforts ensures that this focus is maintained.
The Northern Gulf Institute programs closely align with the efforts of several critical programs in the region, profiled here. By working together with these programs, the regional impact builds exponentially. The NGI defines the Northern Gulf of Mexico region as the upland, watershed, coastal zone, and coastal ocean areas from the Sabine River in Louisiana east to the Suwannee River in Florida. This region is a rich and interdependent natural environment of great complexity vital to the Nation. The riverine-dominated Northern Gulf ecosystems are under pressure from increasing population and coastal development, impacts from severe storms and climate variability, inland watershed and coastal wetlands degradation, and many other factors.
The geographic focus of NGI research is primarily on the coast but includes some uplands and marine depths. NGI research has grown to address research needs in the adjoining watersheds and marine environs.