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MEAM

Draft plan released for US national ocean policy

A draft plan for implementing a national ocean policy for the US was released for public comment in January by the interagency National Ocean Council. The draft plan comprises more than 50 action items, with each action including milestones, responsible agencies, and the expected timeframe for completion. The structure is designed to provide a clear layout of what will be accomplished when, and by whom.

The draft plan is the latest step in the National Ocean Council's effort to develop - and to assist federal, state, and local agencies with implementing - a national ocean policy consistent with priorities set by President Barack Obama in 2010 (MEAM 4:1). The comment period for the draft implementation plan ends on 27 February 2012. To view the draft plan or provide comments, go to: www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans

MEAM

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

A year ago in this column, I remarked on a problem for the field of coastal and marine EBM tools. Namely, although the number and functionality of these geospatial tools had grown rapidly, the complexity of the tools often made it difficult for managers to use them.

MPA News

In the field of marine protected areas, an unfortunate reality is that many sites are "paper parks". Existing on paper - in laws and on maps - but failing to provide effective management and enforcement, these sites offer the promise of robust protection without the reality of it. Budget shortfalls, faulty planning, insufficient community support...there are many reasons why an MPA may be a paper park. Overcoming the reasons for failure and steering these sites to a functional state pose big challenges for the MPA community.

MPA News

In recent years, ecologist Joachim Claudet has been at the forefront of MPA science. His studies of European marine reserves - which found that the older and larger a marine reserve is, the greater the density of large fish inside it is - have held important implications for MPA network design and fisheries management ("Older and larger reserves have more large fish" in Special Section, MPA News 10:11).

MPA News

In late November, the Australian Government released a draft plan to designate what could be the world's largest marine protected area. Covering 989,842 km2, the proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve would be located in Australian waters of the Coral Sea. The MPA would extend from the eastward boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to the edge of the Australian EEZ, where it would border the waters of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia.

MPA News

MPA enforcement conference delayed to November 2012

The Global MPA Enforcement Conference, sponsored by WildAid and originally scheduled for February 2012, has been postponed to 25-29 November 2012. It will still be held in San Francisco, California, US. The website for the meeting is http://wildaid.org/mpaconference. The name of the meeting has also been changed: it is now called simply the 2012 MPA Conference.

MPA News

The following sites are drawn from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), compiled by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. For reference, the North Pole is 90° N, the Equator is 0°, and each full degree of latitude equals 111 km. The longitudinal projection used was WGS84. Information on each of the MPAs is available at www.protectedplanet.net.

1. Northeast Greenland National Park, Greenland

MEAM

A habitat map, in its most basic sense, shows where particular plants and animals are likely to live. A map that shows the location of coral reefs, for example, suggests where there will be reef-associated species. Likewise for other seafloor habitats - sandy bottom, seamounts, seagrass meadows, and so forth.

MEAM

By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)

We are light-years ahead of where we were just 20 years ago in terms of collecting, analyzing, and using spatial information to support marine management. I remember a time, not so long ago, when understanding of where the important areas were, and what areas were being used, was derived by drawing lines on big maps, then overlaying one transparent map on another to deal with complexes of information.

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