Ecosystems can be defined as all the organisms and non-living entities that occur and interact in a particular area. Ecosystem health refers to the ability of an ecosystem to maintain its structure, resilience under stress, and provide ecosystem services. How ecosystem health is measured is dependent on how ecosystems are evaluated and the indicators used to assess them. Healthy coastal ecosystems are the foundation for life along the coast. However, human activity is a major driver of environmental change and has a large impact on our coastal ecosystems. Pennsylvania Sea Grant is a leader in addressing ecosystem health by ensuring:
- ecosystem services are improved by enhanced health, diversity and abundance of fish, wildlife and plants;
- ecosystem-based approaches are used to manage land, water and living resources; and
- ecosystems and their habitats are protected ,enhanced, or restored.