Monday, 18 November 2013

State of marine protected areas in the United States report published

NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center has issued a new report on the state of marine protected areas in the United States. Marine Protected Areas of the United States: Conserving Our Oceans, One Place at a Time provides a detailed snapshot of the coverage, level of protection, resources protected and ecological representativeness of MPAs in U.S. waters. It also features brief case studies in MPA management from around the country. For the first time, the U.S. reports data specifically focused on MPAs protected for natural heritage – the protection of ecosystems, biodiversity, habitats and species -- as well areas protected for their cultural resources and values. This focus on natural and cultural heritage MPAs provides greater comparability with the accepted international definition of MPAs established by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which does not include areas established for fisheries management. Currently, MPAs focused on natural and cultural heritage cover approximately 8% of U.S. waters. International targets for MPA coverage established through the Convention on Biological Diversity and other commitments call for 10% of ocean and coastal areas to be conserved within MPAs by the year 2020.

The report can be downloaded at:

http://marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/pdf/fac/mpas_of_united_states_conserving_oceans_1113.pdf
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Lauren WenzelActing Director
National Marine Protected Areas Center