The Southeastern Ecological Framework Project is a GIS-based analysis to identify ecologically significant areas and connectivity in the southeast region of the US. The states included in the project are Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky (see area map).

The project began in October 1998 and was completed in December 2001 by the University of Florida GeoPlan Center and sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 4. Region 4 Planning & Analysis Branch continues to use this data to facilitate EPA programs and to work with state and federal agencies and local groups to make sound conservation decisions. Efforts to apply this methodology to other EPA Regions is being considered.

The Southeastern Ecological Framework Final Report is now available for download as a .PDF. This document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 software for viewing, which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.

  1. identify primary ecological areas that are protected by some type of conservation or ecosystem management program,
  2. identify a green infrastructure network that connects these primary ecological areas,
  3. identify the important ecological characteristics of the ecological areas and connecting green infrastructure,
  4. develop an understanding of the spatial scale issues involved in analyzing the ecological connectivity at local, state and regional scales, and
  5. develop protocol for dissemination of the information.
This analysis was conducted using landscape ecology principles and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools. The product(s) of this study can be used by local, state and federal agencies in developing a regional atlas of environmental issues and conflicts and threats to the natural ecosystems caused by human environmental impacts. State, local and private entities can utilize the information to address various environmental resource allocation issues.

Related Sites:

GeoPlan Center, University of Florida
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Environmental Protection Agency Region 4