Gulf of Maine Area Program of the Census of Marine Life

This is a brief history of the milestones in the GoMA program. For a complete picture of contributing research projects that have expanded our knowledge of the Gulf of Maine, visit our Research section.


  • Census of Marine Life begins – a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans.


  • Initial steps of Gulf of Maine ecosystem pilot begins (Ken Foote, PI, WHOI)



  • Phase I: Implementation of GoMA begins at University of Southern Maine with Evan Richert, Program Director and Lew Incze, Chief Scientist
  • Formation policy committee, science advisory committee and working groups
  • Publication: Prototype Biophysical Maps of the Gulf of Maine
  • All-program meeting of COML in Washington DC, USA


  • Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership forms
  • Science Meeting of GoMA researchers at Woods Hole
  • Canadian researchers develop a new biodiversity research project, Discovery Corridor Bay of Fundy and northeast Gulf (Peter Lawton, Chair of Steering Committee)
  • All-program meeting of COML in Paris, France



  • Gulf of Maine Register of Marine Species released (Lou Van Guelpen and Gerhard Pohle, Huntsman Marine Science Centre)
  • Discovery Corridor: Deep-water ROV ROPOS surveys to depths of 2600m off Northeast Channel (Peter Lawton/Ellen Kenchington, DFO; Anna Metaxas, Dalhousie U.; Paul Snelgrove, Memorial U.)
  • Platts Bank research and analysis continues
  • Cashes Ledge (Jon Witman, PI, Brown University) research begins
  • Phase I ends, Phase II Implementation of GoMA begins


  • Research project: History of the Nearshore Project, Cobscook Bay, joint project of GoMA, NaGISA and HMAP begins (Tom Trott, PI et al)
  • Research project: Green Crab Invasive Study begins (Jeb Beyers, PI, UNH)
  • Gulf of Maine program co-sponsors National Marine Educators Association conference
  • Dr. Peter Lawton of the Centre for Marine Biodiversity (Canada) joins Dr. Lewis Incze of University of Southern Maine (USA) to lead scientific program for Gulf of Maine
  • Dr. Sara Ellis joins GoMA as Program Manager
  • All-program Census meeting held in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Phase II ends: Gulf of Maine program synthesis planning begins


  • Phase III Gulf of Maine Area program synthesis begins
  • New interface for the Data and Mapping Portal, (or Gulf of Maine Biogeographic Information System) is launched
  • Stellwagen Bank ecosystem modeling and visualization begins (Peter Auster, UConn and L. Incze, USM)
  • Co-founder of GoMA, Evan Richert, wins Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council (news release PDF 128KB)