MEAM and MPA News

MPA News

Canada designates MPA to protect globally unique glass sponge reefs

On 16 February, the Government of Canada designated a 2410-km2 MPA along its Pacific coast to protect several globally unique and ancient glass sponge reefs. The glass sponges have mineral skeletons made of silica (hence their ‘glass’ name) and their reef structures are estimated to be 9000 years old. Glass sponge reefs of this size — once abundant during Earth’s Jurassic Period — were believed by scientists to be extinct before these colonies were discovered off Canada in 1987.

MPA News

In early 2016, a report by firms in the global financial sector estimated that conservation funding worldwide could be grown from its current level of US $52 billion to as much as $400 billion per year. How? Through private investment. If conservation projects could be made profitable — such as by generating revenue from ecotourism or by supporting sustainable resource extraction — nature protection would become attractive to investors. Investors would pay for protected areas, for example, and make their money back (with interest) on the tourism or other revenue-generating activities that occurred there.