View of a green scenic landscape with forested mountains in the background and a lagoon in the foreground.
Extending consistent methods and indicators to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be a major focus of the 2023 Blueprint update. Photo of Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico by G. Burgos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The 2022 Southeast Conservation Blueprint now covers almost all of the Southeast with consistent methods and indicators. What’s next for 2023?

The plan is to focus on extending those consistent methods to the places we couldn’t quite get to this year. That includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and additional marine areas in places like the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Atlantic. Lots of folks have been asking for the consistent Blueprint methods to include those areas, so making that happen is going to be a major focus for 2023. This means we’ll no longer have to stitch together any subregional plans like the Florida Marine Blueprint and Caribbean Landcape Conservation Design—we’ll have one seamless Blueprint SECAS-wide.

We’re now starting the process of selecting and modeling indicators for these new areas, and SECAS has helped kickstart a Caribbean community of practice to guide the 2023 update in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Future newsletters will provide more detail on progress so far and opportunities to contribute! If you have data suggestions or other ideas for improving the Blueprint in the marine environment and the Caribbean, send them my way. If you’re interested in joining the Caribbean community of practice, contact Amanda, the SECAS Coordinator.