Blogs

OpenChannels has a team of dedicated bloggers addressing targeted aspects of ocean planning and management, including communication, technology, ocean uses, and more. Our bloggers are experts in the field, drawing from their own knowledge and experience.

The OpenChannels community can also benefit from your knowledge and experience. We appreciate the diversity of perspectives in this field and welcome the use of OpenChannels for sharing these views. Do you have a perspective on ocean planning you would like to share? We'll help you do that right now: just click the button above and follow the prompts. If you are interested in blogging but have questions, please email Raye Evrard at raye [at] octogroup.org. We look forward to your contribution!

The OpenChannels Team


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Posted on May 14, 2014 - 9:42am, by cmwahle

By Mimi D’Iorio, PhD, NOAA National MPA Center (on detail to NOAA Coastal Services Center) mimi.diorio [at] noaa.gov

There aren’t sign posts in the ocean, no billboards or ranger-staffed kiosks alerting ocean-goers that they are entering a special area where certain activities are regulated or prohibited.   Unlike on land, special areas in the ocean are not marked or gated or fenced.  So without posted boundaries, public compliance to MPA regulations relies on effective outreach and education, as well routine monitoring and enforcement.

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By Elizabeth M. De Santo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Franklin & Marshall College

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is currently meeting to determine the legality of the UK’s 2010 declaration of a marine reserve around the Chagos archipelago. This is the latest in a suite of legal arguments undertaken since the islands’ local population was evicted to make way for the leasing of Diego Garcia to the US to build a military base. I would like to explain why the current case matters, not re-hash the rights and wrongs of the Chagossian eviction and US occupation, nor whether the “special relationship” used the MPA as a means of keeping the zone a de facto militarized space, nor am I reopening the debate on the pros and cons of large MPAs. Rather, the PCA arbitration presents new and worrying implications for former colonial powers designating large swaths of their overseas territories as conservation areas, and it adds yet another layer of negativity to the Chagos MPA that will have repercussions on future designations. 

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Posted on April 10, 2014 - 3:47am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

Recent developments and assessments indicate that the tensions between achieving good environmental status and blue growth in Europe's seas are increasing.

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Posted on March 29, 2014 - 4:42am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

A recent article highlights that the "Great Barrier Reef and Indigenous heritage laws face 'one-stop shop' threat", in that Australia's Environment Department is proposing to cut 'green tape' that can hinder economic development proposals. "This could mean decision-making for the dumping of materials into the Great Barrier Reef marine park being stripped from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and handed to the Queensland government." The proposal to dump dredge spoil in the GBRMP to expand Abbot Point coal terminal is a key driver of this initiative.

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Posted on March 26, 2014 - 12:58pm, by cmwahle

By Charles M. Wahle, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Blog Editor, NOAA MPA Center, charles.wahle [at] noaa.gov

Americans and our visitors are increasingly discovering the nation’s oceans as a place to play. This trend is hard to miss. Any visit to the coast or to travel and tourism websites reveals the diversity of ways we now recreate in the ocean [1]. The ongoing explosion of ocean recreation involves familiar uses pursued by ever-more people (e.g. kayaking, wildlife viewing, SCUBA), as well as the emergence of new activities not envisioned just a few years ago (e.g. stand-up paddle boards, kayak fishing, jet packs).

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Posted on March 18, 2014 - 1:27pm, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at] mail.ubc.ca

As I was sitting down to read my bit of yoga philosophy before meditating the other day, the foghorns were sounding in English Bay near my home in Vancouver, BC. In a beautiful coincidence, the reading spoke of “dissolving the fog” to connect your heart to your head, and each time I drifted off into problem-solving during meditation the foghorn would bring me back.

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Posted on March 12, 2014 - 6:59am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

An interesting Response by Charles Sheppard (2014, Marine Policy 47, 85–86) to the article by Peter Harris: Fortress: Safe haven or home? The Chagos MPA in political context (2014, Marine Policy 46, 19-21). Charles  Sheppard attempts to annul the marriage between science and politics which Peter Harris' paper has reported. This left me pondering some questions.

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By Toni Parras, Communications Professional, toniparras [at] yahoo.com

Since the beginning of my career, I have been asked to help organizations “tell their stories” and “get their stories told.” What does that mean exactly?

In every culture, stories are used to educate, entertain, and convey genealogy. Whatever its function, storytelling is an art. A good story is entertaining, moving – it can make us laugh, cry, ponder and, sometimes, lead us to take action.

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Posted on March 4, 2014 - 9:08am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

Interesting tension between Edgar et al's paper (2014, http://openchannels.org/literature-library/1391627691) arguing for large, isolated MPAs, isolation often meaning remote offshore, relatively unimpacted sea areas, even though they argue it does not necessarily mean this. So does remote often equate to residual, which Devillers et al (2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2445/abstract) criticise as biasing marine conservation away from impacted sea areas that are under pressure?

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Posted on February 23, 2014 - 6:30am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

How do we manage marine protected areas (MPAs) in a way that makes them more effective and resilient? A recent book argues that diversity is the key to resilience, both of species in ecosystems and incentives in governance systems

There are growing societal concerns about the health of our seas and increasing interest in the potential of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a key contribution to addressing these concerns. Against this background, a recent book by Dr Peter Jones of UCL’s Department of Geography: Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity, focuses on the argument that the social and ecological resilience of marine ecosystems can be promoted by employing a diversity of approaches in the management or governance of MPAs. He discusses such approaches in terms of ‘governance incentives’.

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