Marine Protected Areas
CONNECTIONS
Your news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center
National Marine Protected Areas Center
Sunset at Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park
Christian Loya
Sept 2016
In This Issue
Quick Links
Gallery


American White Pelicans at
Manitowoc - Two Rivers,
Lake Michigan.  
Chris Rohrer
President Obama expands, creates new Marine Monuments 
President Obama created the largest protected area in the world with the  expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument   in August 2016. The monument, which is managed jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA and the State of Hawaii, increased by 442,781 square miles, now a total of 582,578 square miles. All commercial and recreational fishing are prohibited in Papahānaumokuākea. On September 15, in conjunction with the State Department's "Our Oceans" conference, President Obama announced the first marine monument in the Atlantic .  This area of canyons and seamounts has been extensively explored and is important habitat for a many marine species, including whales, sea turtles, corals and sponges.  President Obama cited the need to provide areas to promote climate resilience as a key reason for the creation and expansion of these protected areas.  

Countries make ocean commitments at "Our Oceans" Conference
In addition to the U.S. announcement about the new monument in the Atlantic, many other countries announced commitments 
to create new MPAs and take other ocean protection measures at the State Department's "Our Oceans" Conference in Washington, DC.  For a complete list of "Our Ocean" commitments, click here

IUCN approves target to protect 30% of the world's oceans  
Greenling and Rose Anemone
San Miguel Island, CINMS
Cindy Shaw
At the September World Conservation Congress, IUCN members approved a motion to protect 30% of the world's oceans "in a network of highly protected MPAs." The motion, which was championed by several NGOs, is 
not binding, but motions have  often been very influential for global conservation policy.  This motion is a major increase over the current Aichi 11 Target under the Convention for Biological Diversity calls for countries to protect 10% of their coastal and marine areas in well managed and connected MPA networks. 
Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee seeks 
10 new members 
NOAA and the Department of the Interior are seeking nominations to fill 10 vacancies on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee for 2017-2020. The Committee advises the two agencies on ways to connect and strengthen the nation's MPA programs. In particular, nominations for representatives of ocean industries, commercial and recreational fishing, Tribal and/or Pacific Islanders, State coastal or ocean agencies, natural and social science, cultural resource management, non-consumptive uses and conservation interests are sought by October 7, 2016. For more information, 
click here
Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee to meet via webinar on  October 3

The Marine Protected Area  Federal Advisory Committee will meet via webinar on  October 3 from 1:00-2:30 Eastern. The Committee will  review and vote on recommendati ons developed by  Subcommittees on external financing and on enhancing the ecological connectivity of  MPA s. The meeting is open to the public, and there will b e an opportunity for public c omment.  For more information, including agenda and meeting registration,  click here
Stimson Center launches "Secure Our Oceans" website on MPA enforcement technology
  
During the "Our Oceans" conference, the Stimson Center launched Secure Our Oceans --  a platform that helps countries, multilateral organizations, and NGOs around the world find the right technology to protect their marine protected areas. It organizes technologies in a simple manner to help decision makers make more informed decisions about the tools they need to safeguard their marine protected areas. Information was gathered through online research as well as through interviews with technology providers, users and experts. Secure Our Oceans is also creating "Oceans Avengers" teams to build enforcement projects from the bottom up. Ocean Avengers teams are composed of conservation technologists, oceans scientists and illegal fishing experts. They will produce technology feasibility studies and implementation plans that sustainably enforce marine protected areas.       
IUCN issues landmark report on ocean warming 

IUCN issued a major report on ocean warming in September, noting that warming is affecting humans in direct ways and the impacts are already being felt. Impacts include effects on fish stocks and crop yields, more extreme weather events and increased risk from water-borne diseases. The report is available here. The report, Explaining ocean warming: Causes, scale, effects and consequences, reviews the effects of ocean warming on species, ecosystems and on the benefits oceans provide to humans. Compiled by 80 scientists from 12 countries, it highlights detectable scientific evidence of impacts on marine life, from microorganisms to mammals, which are likely to increase significantly even under a low emissions scenario. 
Special issue of Aquatic Conservation journal on MPA networks 
A special issue of Aquatic Conservation journal on marine protected area 
networks was published in September 2016, in conjunction with the 
Worl Conservation Congress. The issue, entitled  Building Networks of MPAs: 
peer reviewed articles on a wide range of topics, including setting MPA 
targets, polar co nservation, marine mammal protected areas, large scale 
MPAs, marine education, and other topics. All articles are available for 
free download. 
Webinars from the MPA Center and Partners   
The MPA Center monthly webinar series is co-sponsored by MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org)  and held the second Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The series is focused on building and strengthening MPA networks. 

Oct. 4 
By Lauren Wenzel, Director NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center;  Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme; and,  Dan Laffoley, IUCN Principal Advisor, Marine Science and Conservation for the Global Marine and Polar Programme, and Marine Vice Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas.

The 2016 World Conservation Congress, held Sept. 1-10 in Honolulu, Hawaii, marked the first time this meeting of conservation leaders from across the world has been held in the United States.  Held every four years, the WCC provides an opportunity to share conservation lessons, celebrate accomplishments and make new commitments. This year, the WCC attracted over 8,000 participants and -- with its island setting -- had a strong oceans focus. Learn about the major products and future directions for oceans coming out of this meeting.  

Nov. 3
By Louis W. Botsford, Distinguished Professor, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis

The state of California established a statewide network of MPAs through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process. Managers and scientists must now figure out how to employ adaptive management of these MPAs (i.e. to compare outcomes to predicted effects, a requirement of the act). The first step was to initiate baseline monitoring of sites inside the new MPAs and at select reference sites outside of them. Next, with support from California Sea Grant, researchers developed computer models for adaptive management of Central California's MPAs for commercially and recreationally important species such as blue rockfish, black rockfish, lingcod and cabezon. The spatial population models incorporated what is known about species' larval dispersals, adult movement patterns, and key species interactions to simulate how fish populations might respond to spatial closures and other factors, such as fishing pressure outside the no-fishing zones. Output from the simulations has provided insights on how soon managers should expect to see increases in fish population abundances and when and why there may be time lags in some species' responses, given factors such as pre-MPA fishing pressure and pre-MPA fish population abundance. The models also offer predictions for how much individual fish sizes might be expected to increase over time. Yet other computational modeling focused on determining "spill-over" distances for MPAs and their implications for siting monitoring reference sites. The scientists report that simply comparing sites inside and outside MPAs can produce misleading results and that consistent evaluation of each over time is more important for accurate assessments of MPA performance than comparing inside and outside MPAs at a set time. This group is working collaboratively with state wildlife managers to develop the science necessary to monitor and adaptively manage the state's new MPAs. 

Nov. 10
By Steven L. Yaffee, PhD  School of Natural Resources and Environment,  University of Michigan

Whether you are a stakeholder, facilitator, agency official, or student, this tool can help you understand and facilitate real-world public decision making processes. Using multimedia examples drawn from the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, the tool enables users to explore strategies for facilitating the different stages of collaborative decision making. This tool was created to help a variety of users expand their expertise and increase their understanding of facilitation strategies, challenges, and steps in a collaborative process.

Dec. 1
By Mi Ae Kim, Foreign Affairs Specialist, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, 
NOAA Fisheries

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has been working to establish marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, which would contribute to its objective - the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources. Two proposals have been under consideration since 2012, MPAs in the Ross Sea Region and East Antarctica. An overview and the latest updates on CCAMLR's MPA efforts will be provided during the webinar. See CCAMLR's webpage for background on CCAMLR MPAs.

Dec. 8
Demonstrating Relevance: Applying Lessons on Management Effectiveness at Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary
By Sarah Fangman, Superintendent Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA
Click to Sign-Up