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Aquatic GAP

The Aquatic Gap Program is an element of the overall USGS Gap Analysis Program, focusing on species found in coastal and inland waters. The goal of the National Aquatic GAP is to evaluate aquatic biological diversity and aquatic habitats using spatial analysis and habitat suitability models to identify gaps in species distribution and work toward more effective conservation prioritization.

The Aquatic GAP analysis process, while still in progress in many regions of the United States, has already produced a large amount of modeled fish, crayfish and mussel distribution data for certain regions. Aquatic GAP research falls into three general categories:

Watershed Basin Analyses

As the Aquatic GAP program has grown to meet the needs of regional initiatives and partners, state initiatives have begun to collaborate, focusing on complete analyses of watershed ecosystems. This collaborative approach has produced models of fish, crayfish, and mussel distribution data for many watershed basins in the United States.

State Projects

The Aquatic GAP analysis process has historically grown in a distributed manner to meet the needs of regional initiatives and partners. State-based approaches have resulted in a plethora of modeled fish, crayfish, and mussel distribution data for certain regions of the United States.

New Aquatic GAP Modeling Concepts

Other predictive modeling approaches are being explored with the goal of improving modeling and management of natural resources under the GAP Analysis Program. Many of these projects are in the pilot phase, and more information will be added as it becomes available.

The research and the products created as a result of these projects are being used to facilitate local and regional conservation planning activities, helping to prioritize species and habitats to be protected and to direct resources where they are most needed.