As human impacts cause ecosystem-wide changes in the oceans, the need to protect and restore marine resources has led to increasing calls for and establishment of marine reserves. Scientific information about marine reserves has multiplied over the last decade, providing useful knowledge about this tool for resource users, managers, policy makers, and the general public. This information must be conveyed to nonscientists in a nontechnical, credible, and neutral format, but most scientists are not trained to communicate in this style or to develop effective strategies for sharing their scientific knowledge. Here, we present a case study from California, in which communicating scientific information during the process to establish marine reserves in the Channel Islands and along the California mainland coast expanded into an international communication effort. We discuss how to develop a strategy for communicating marine reserve science to diverse audiences and highlight the influence that effective science communication can have in discussions about marine management.
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