Marine Protected Areas
Your news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center
National Marine Protected Areas Center
Giacomini Wetlands, Point Reyes National Seashore
November 2014
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Clownfish, Derek Manzello/NOAA

Great Barrier Reef, NASA

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The National Marine Protected Areas Center has published an updated Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States for public comment until December 26. First published in 2008, the Framework provides overarching guidance on the development and implementation of the National System. The purpose of the National System is to build management capacity among MPA programs, coordinate collaborative efforts to address common management issues and identify ecosystem-based gaps in the protection of significant natural and cultural resources for possible future action by the nation's MPA authorities.  The Updated Framework was developed by the MPA Center in close consultation with staff at the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.  It uses experience gained implementing the National System and advice from the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPA FAC) and MPA programs. 

Participate in the World Parks Congress - from Anywhere!
The IUCN World Parks Congress - to be held November 12-19 in Sydney, Australia -- is a landmark global forum on protected areas. Held only every 10 years, the Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Over 5,000 protected area professionals from all over the world are expected to attend, and there will be over 150 marine sessions. Can't make it? No problem - join us online. Here are some ways to get involved:

* Watch Ocean TV - produced by the French MPA Agency. The web channel will feature daily magazines highlighting marine content from the Congress.

* Check the WPC marine page for updates on MPA sessions and events at the Congress

* Participate in Google hangouts on the Great Barrier Reef, Big Ocean (Network of Very Large MPAs), High Seas and Catlin Seaview's amazing video footage of MPAs

* Join us via Twitter: #WPCMarine

* Check in at the WPC website for daily summaries of the Congress.

* Read and comment on "the Promise of Sydney" - a set of bold directions and commitments to their implementation that have been posted in draft on the WPC website and will be revised based on dialogue in Sydney.
In September 2014, President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument - originally established by President Bush - from 83,234 square miles to 491,161 square miles, making it the largest marine protected area in the world.  The Monument boundaries encompass 
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
pristine coral reefs to the far south and west 
of Hawaii: Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Howland Island, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, and Wake Island.  This area sustains a diversity of species including 
corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, land birds, insects, and vegetation found nowhere else in the world. Many threatened, endangered, and depleted 
species thrive in the Pacific Remote Islands, including the green and hawksbill turtle, 
pearl oyster, giant clams, reef sharks, 
coconut crabs, groupers, humphead and Napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrotfish, dolphins and whales wrasse, bumphead parrotfish, dolphins and whales. 

The Monument is managed by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA Fisheries. The Presidential proclamation expanding the monument prohibits commercial fishing and any "injury, destruction, or removal of any object." Non-commercial fishing may be allowed by permit. The expanded Monument protects an additional 130+ seamounts, as well as habitat for deep-sea corals.

Recent US FWS management efforts in the Monument include restoring essential seabird nesting habitat by eradicating non-native rats at Palmyra Refuge and one species of rat at Wake, restoring coral reef habitats at Palmyra and Kingman Reef Refuges -including the removal of shipwrecks that were degrading the health of those reefs and facilitating the work of scientists in the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium with The Nature Conservancy. NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center conducts Reef Assessment and Monitoring Cruises to the Monument -- multidisciplinary coral reef ecosystem surveys, assessing the status of fishes, corals, algae, marine invertebrates, and the oceanographic conditions in which these organisms exist.

This fall's MPA Center Webinar Series will include presentations on sustainable recreation uses on federal lands and water and on the status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs.  This virtual series is held the second Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. 
Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D.

November 13th 
Working Across Agency Lines to Improve Visitor Use Management on Public Lands and Waters
Kerri Cahill-National Park Service, Ellen Eubanks-Forest Service, and
Charles Wahle-MPA Center

December 11th  

To celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System, the Sanctuaries Office has kicked off a new social media campaign, "Earth is Blue." This will feature the launch of a new Instagram account. Join us as we explore and share America's Sanctuaries with our picture a day and video a week highlighting the wonder and beauty of these special places

New IUCN Guide on Communicating For Success

MPAs are change agents and one of the most effective tools created to support conservation and diversity in the ocean.
This new guidebook developed by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, IUCN's Commission on Education and Communications and IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas-Marine outlines how to use communication as more than a tool for outreach, rather a way to catalyze change within communities.  The guide -- now in draft -- 
will be a living new IUCN Guide on Communicating for Success document periodically updated to include new examples of ways ocean managers are communicating and engaging with the public.
MPA Inventory Updated    
The MPA Inventory - the comprehensive geo-spatial database of U.S. marine protected areas - has been updated.  The latest version includes data on 1,770 MPAs,including the newly expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.  A new interactive, on-line MPA viewer is under construction. Check out the latest data here.

2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites - March 28-April 3, 2015 in Oakland, California.


The George Wright Society Conference is the leading U.S. professional meeting of protected area managers.  GWS2015 is your place to engage with colleagues who share your commitment to excellence ... to educate yourself about the latest trends and ideas ... to raise expectations for yourself and your career!  





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