Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
April 2020

Evidence Library for Oyster Reef Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

GEMS Evidence Library for Oyster Reef Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico cover

Billions of dollars will be spent on large-scale restoration of Gulf ecosystems over the coming decades, but there is no shared platform to guide assessment and reporting of restoration progress and effectiveness for the broad set of environmental, social, and economic goals shared by the many institutions working in the Gulf. The GEMS (Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models and Socio-economic Indicators) project aims to advance standardized metrics of restoration success by developing ecosystem service logic models (ESLMs) with stakeholders from the five Gulf states, relevant federal agencies, and technical experts. ESLMs trace the effects of restoration strategies as they influence ecological and social systems to create outcomes that are important to people. This report presents a general ESLM for oyster reef restoration, representing all of the outcomes from oyster reef restoration that are significant, tightly tied to oyster reef restoration, and important to the local community, and an evidence library summarizing the scientific evidence supporting each of the relationships shown in the ESLM.