Getting started

OpenChannels is a service of OCTO, but also is the parent website for a series of ocean conservation portals

  • www.OpenChannels.orgOpenChannels is the knowledge hub for the global community of sustainable ocean management and conservation. Much of the content from our sibling sites is also shared on OpenChannels.*

  • MarineDebris.openchannels.orgMarineDebris.Info is a service of OCTO in it's own right but is also connected to OpenChannels. It is a knowledge hub and community focusing on marine debris and marine litter.

  • MEAM.openchannels.orgMEAM (Marine Ecosystems and Management) is a community and newsletter focused on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management.

  • MPANews.openchannels.orgMPA News is a newsletter focused on the planning and management of marine protected areas (MPAs)

  • NAMPAN.openchannels.orgNorth American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN) is a network of resource agencies, marine protected areas managers, and other relevant experts from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

  • OTP.openchannels.orgOcean Tipping Points Community of Practice represents a global community of scientists and practitioners concerned about the potential for dramatic shifts in marine and coastal ecosystems.

OpenChannels Community Member user accounts are shared between these websites: for example, your user account from OpenChannels will also allow you to share content on MarineDebris.Info.

If you have content you'd like to share with a particular portal, please share it from that portal. You can switch portals by going to the button titled "Switch Portal" on the top left of this site.

*If you find content which is not shared on a particular portal, you'll meet our friend the Accidental Octopus. Follow the links she gives you to find the content on the appropriate site(s).


We send out a few newsletters on a regular basis:

  1. Every-other Wednesday, we send out the OpenChannels Weekly Update. It includes new research on all things ocean, news, jobs, grants, and more. If you need to know what is happening in ocean conservation, this is the newsletter for you!

  2. MPA News is the information service on planning and management of marine protected areas (MPAs). It serves the global MPA community with news, views, analysis, and tips gathered from experts around the world. It is sent out once per month.

  3. The Skimmer, formerly known as Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) is the monthly information service on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management. It is also sent out once per month.


We maintain a number of discussion listservs on many topics in ocean conservation:

  • Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network Announcements: The Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network is one of the premier sources of information about coastal and marine planning and management tools in the United States and internationally. Coastal and marine planning and management tools help practitioners incorporate scientific and socioeconomic information into decision making. The mission of the Network is to promote healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and communities through the use of tools that help incorporate ecosystem considerations into management. 

  • EBM Tools Discussion List: This distribution list provides an interactive forum for coastal and marine conservation and management practitioners and tool experts to share information about tools and methods that can be used for improving coastal and marine conservation and management.

  • MarineDebris.Info List: MARE launched MarineDebris.Info to provide a free and continuous forum for global discussion and announcements on marine debris. Our community includes marine debris scientists, resource managers, policymakers, industry, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders around the world.

  • MPA List: Created by MPA News and OpenChannels, the MPA List provides a simple way for managers, researchers, and others to share knowledge, discuss current issues, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and announcements.

  • Ocean Planning Community: This email discussion group - the Ocean Planning Community listserv - is for people on the front lines of MSP in North America and worldwide. It's designed to help you and your peers share experience and good practices with one another: what worked, what didn't, what you learned. The listserv is hosted by and co-produced by The Nature Conservancy, TNC Canada, University of Rhode Island, Sound Seas, and MARE.

Searching for existing content

When searching for content on the site, be sure to take advantage of the filters. For example, you can sort by Content Type such as Literature, News from OpenChannels, shared news, webinars, and plenty more. Just use the filters to the right (or for small-screens, below) the list of search results.