Central to the development of an inventory of marine life and improved conceptual understanding of the mechanisms that dynamically shape species distribution patterns needed for renewable resource management is the implementation of strategies aimed at enhancing assimilation and access to existing biogeographical information. Using the internet as a medium and EASy (Environmental Analysis System), an advanced oceanographic geographic information system (GIS) tool, the Gulf of Maine Biogeographic Information System (GMBIS) project will provide a framework for the integration, visualization, analysis and dissemination of diverse types of biogeographical and oceanographic information. End-to-end viability of this approach is demonstrated in the context of a pilot application for the Gulf of Maine, a well-studied ecosystem for which extensive scientific data exist but one that historically has been subject to large-scale perturbation due to overharvesting. Databases at the core of the information system will include those of the Bedford Institution of Oceanography and Atlantic Reference Center, which are the product of multidisciplinary research efforts over the last 30 years in the Gulf of Maine. The development of GMBIS may serve not only as a model for the global Ocean Biogeographic Information System, but it may also will provide a powerful tool to meet the new international and Canadian national demands for integrated and ecologically responsible management of marine resources.