Marine Protected Areas
Your news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center
National Marine Protected Areas Center
      Kathryn Branning, Dry Tortugas National Park, 2014 Share the Experience Photo Contest
June 2015
In This Issue
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Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, USFWS

Capitol Hill Ocean Week presented by National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation
MPA Programs invited to nominate existing MPAs to National System of MPAs
Point Lobos State Marine Reserve in CA
is a member of the National System

MPA programs are invited to nominate their eligible sites to be part of the national system of MPAs through August 21, 2015. The national system of MPAs provides a mechanism to foster collaboration and recognition of MPA sites, networks and systems established and managed by all levels of government. The National System does not change the management of member MPAs, but encourages cooperation toward common marine conservation goals. Currently, 437 MPAs are members of the National System.  


Did you miss Capitol Hill Oceans Week? Watch highlights here!
For more than a decade, Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) has convened Congressional Members and staff, Administration officials, state and local government representatives, business executives, military officials, academic experts, and conservation leaders to explore a wide range of cutting-edge and challenging policy issues relating to our ocean. 

Last week's CHOW was no exception. Highlights included sessions on Cuba, the Arctic, coastal recreation, millennial perspectives on the ocean, halting illegal fishing and a leadership roundtable. Plus, OceansLIVE interviews with key ocean thinkers will be posted later this week. View highlights and more here!
MPA Federal Advisory Committee begins work on connectivity, sustainable financing, Arctic MPAs
  MPA FAC learns about wetland restoration efforts at
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge from Nisqually tribal staff
From June 2-4, the MPA Federal Advisory Committee met in Tacoma, Washington to begin work on their new charge from NOAA and the Department of the Interior. The Committee advises the two agencies on issues related to MPA science and management.  For 2015-2016, the Committee will focus on recommendations to enhance the connectivity of U.S. MPAs, identify options for external financing to support MPA programs and recommend approaches toward an Arctic MPA network. The Committee also visited the Squaxin Island Tribal Center to learn about tribal resource management, and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, where the Nisqually Tribe, the FWS and partners are conducting a major tidal wetland restoration project. All Committee presentations are posted 
Meetings of the Committee are open to the public and public comment is encouraged.  

Celebrate the National Park Service's 100th - Find Your Park! 
Point Reyes National Seashore, National Park Foundation
This March, the National Park Service announced a public engagement campaign by partnering with the National Park Foundation for the centerpiece of its 2016 centennial. The "Find Your Park" campaign hopes to produce programs, events and activities that will drive broad awareness, deepen engagement, and increase support for America's parks -- from local spaces to national parks, and from the mountains to the sea.  
The National Park Service is entrusted with managing 86 ocean and Great Lake parks across 26 states. These parks conserve over 11,000 miles of beautiful coastlines and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lake waters, including coral reefs, kelp forests, glaciers, estuaries, beaches, wetlands, historic forts and shipwrecks.  

Update on California's MPA Network
Copper rockfish and red gorgonian coral at
Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve, MARE/CDFW
Last December marked the second anniversary of the completion of California's Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network. Made up of 124 unique managed areas, California's MPA network is the largest MPA network in the U.S., incorporating approximately 16 percent of state waters into one of four designations: state marine reserve, state marine conservation area, state marine park, and state marine recreational management area. Each area has specific boundaries and allowed uses. Information on the network and on individual MPAs (including site specific information) is available at the  California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website.

The CDFW works closely with the Ocean Protection Council and the  Ocean Science Trust to study and monitor how MPAs may affect ecosystem functions and provide species benefits. Baseline studies are the first step, and are designed to get a "biological snapshot" over the first 2-3 years after an MPA is established. These studies provide a benchmark for comparing future monitoring results and to inform potential adaptive management actions by the California Fish and Game Commission. Details on MPA monitoring activities are available through OceanSpaces. Initial monitoring results show that while MPAs are providing many of the anticipated ecological benefits, it may take a decade or more to more fully understand these effects and to determine the benefits to California's marine environment. 
Elizabeth Pope, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
This summer's MPA Center Webinar Series will include a presentation on MPA performance and the drivers behind success. This virtual series is held the second Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. 

August 13th

Dr. Helen Fox
Senior Director, Research
and Monitoring, RARE 

Dr. David Gill 
Luc Hoffman Institute/SESYNC Post-Doctoral Fellow
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)

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