Marine Protected Areas
Your news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center
National Marine Protected Areas Center
      Rockfish over Cordell Bank, Clinton Bauder
Spring 2015
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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Jane Lazarz

Mother and polar bear cub at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, USFWS

NOAA and Interior Publish Updated Framework for the National System of MPAs
Following a public review and response to comments, NOAA and DOI have updated the Framework for the National System of MPAs. Originally published in 2008, the Framework outlines the goals and objectives of the National System of MPAs and describes how it is being implemented. The updated F ramework incorporates experience gained implementing the National System over the past six years, as well as advice from the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee and MPA programs. 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 MPA Federal Advisory Committee, which advises NOAA and the Department of the Interior on issues related to MPAs, will meet via webinar on April 6 (see agenda).  The meeting will review the issues to be addressed by the Committee over the coming two years, including enhancing MPA connectivity, options for sustainable financing, promoting sustainable recreation at MPAs and developing an Arctic MPA network. All meetings are open to the public, and there will be an opportunity for public comment. 
California Ocean Protection Council Develops Ocean Collaboratives     


In December 2014, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) held the first statewide meeting of members of the MPA Collaboratives. These 14 local Collaboratives, aligned with coastal counties, have been formed to support the effective management of California's network of MPAs. California has the largest scientifically designed network of MPAs in the nation, made up of 124 MPAs covering 853 square miles or 16% of state waters (0 - 3 mi). The network crosses jurisdictional, physical and ecological boundaries requiring a broad partnership for effective management. Led by the OPC, California ocean and coastal managers have partnered with the Collaboratives across the state to support outreach and education, research and monitoring, and enforcement and compliance.  The Collaboratives include representatives from local governments, non-governmental organizations, business, tribes, fishermen and other user groups. They serve as a source of real-time information about the status of local MPAs for managers as well as a hub to distribute information from managers to users.  Information about the December meeting is posted here. The first regional meeting of the Collaboratives will be held in southern California on April 29.
California Sanctuaries Expand
Map of expanded Gulf of the Farallones and
             Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA                
After more than a decade of community action, scientific research, political effort and public debate, NOAA has announced the expansion of Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries to more than twice their original size, extending their boundaries to encompass this ecologically critical-stretch of California's coastal and ocean waters. 

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, which encompasses an area to the north and west of San Francisco Bay, will increase in size from 1,282 square miles to 3,295 square miles. The expansion moves its northern boundary roughly 62 miles further up the coast, from Bodega Bay to Point Arena. 

The neighboring Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary will also see its borders expand from 529 square miles to 1,286, reaching further into the offshore waters of Marin County to include Bodega Canyon. These highly productive waters of the California current include areas of major upwelling where nutrients come to the surface and support a vast array of sea life including 25 endangered or threatened species, 36 marine mammal species, over a quarter million breeding seabirds, and one of the most significant great white shark populations on the planet. 

NOAA Coral Program and GCFI Partner to Promote Capacity Building for Caribbean MPAs
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program is working in partnership with the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) on MPA
Participants in MPAs and climate change workshop 
in Punta Gorda, Belize, TIDE
capacity building based on the findings of the Caribbean MPA Management Capacity Assessment.
GCFI has run a series of regional peer-to-peer workshops to share experiences and build capacity on priority topics such as enforcement and financing. NOAA has recently supported site-level assessments of local enforcement needs and on-site training at the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye Natural Monuments in Belize, Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak in Mexico and Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area in Saint Lucia. This local training has been active, applied and pragmatic, and has brought together local law enforcement partners to help strengthen partnerships for more active and consistent enforcement of rules and regulations in Caribbean MPAs.
NOAA and GCFI are also using the findings of the MPA capacity assessment to address the management needs of nine MPAs in the Mesoamerican Reef region. Climate change experts from NOAA, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and GCFI recently worked with managers of nine MPAs from Mexico, Belize and Honduras at the workshop MPA Management Through a Climate Change Lens. Follow-up projects by each MPA will build management capacity to improve and maintain resilience of coral reef ecosystems and the human communities that depend upon them. Two MPAs in Belize are implementing the Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) approach to climate change, which has been successfully applied in the Pacific and is now being adapted for use in the Caribbean.
This spring's MPA Center Webinar Series will include presentations on indigenous knowledge and on IUCN's Green List recognizing effectively managed protected areas. This virtual series is held the second Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. 
Map of the area known as Beringia, NPS

April 9th 
Julie Raymond-Yakoubian
Kawerak Social Science Program Director
Kawerak, Inc. 

May 14th
Marine Protected Areas and IUCN's Green List
James Hardcastle
Programme Development Manager
International Union for Conservation of Nature

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