MEAM and MPA News

MPA News

In late July 2016 a group of recreational divers in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana in the US, noticed something weird. The water was green and hazy instead of the normal clear blue. Large and dense white mats of an unknown substance covered corals and sponges that had previously been healthy. And untold numbers of other reef invertebrates — including brittle stars, sea urchins, crabs, worms, and shrimp — lay dead on the bottom.

MPA News

A joint team of Portuguese and French researchers has proposed a new system for classifying MPAs based on what activities the sites allow and how those activities could impact biodiversity. The proposed system relies on scoring. An MPA that allows relatively impactful activities like bottom trawling, for example, would receive a different score than one that allows less impactful activities, like spearfishing. And both MPAs would receive a different score from an MPA that allows no fishing at all.

MPA News

Dear editor,

The article “MPAs as ‘eco-cultural systems’: Indigenous people and the intersection of culture and conservation” in your June-July 2016 issue illuminates an important element of the heritage of these places. Too often the indigenous communities have had to work much harder than they should to have MPA managers understand, recognize and integrate their perspectives into the stewardship of these sites.

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 12:19pm, by MEAM staff

Dear MEAM readers,

This issue marks the one-year anniversary of ‘eMEAM’, MEAM’s incarnation as a monthly, all-electronic newsletter. It has been our pleasure to be able to provide you with EBM and ocean planning insights and news coverage more frequently and in an easily-accessible online format. And we hope that you have found recent MEAM coverage thought-provoking and useful for your work.

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 12:00pm, by MEAM staff

Sharing information and engaging stakeholders through the internet is an increasingly important part of ocean planners and managers’ work. New ideas and tools for online engagement are emerging daily. But it can be difficult for planners and managers to carve time out of their already busy schedules to keep track of what is out there and take advantage of these new tools and techniques.

In this issue of MEAM, we cover highlights from the OceansOnline conference held in August 2016 in conjunction with the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress. Social media experts and practitioners who are successfully using internet tools for their work provided attendees (and now MEAM readers!) with great tips for engaging online. And we explore some of the innovative uses of the internet that we heard about at OceansOnline – ranging from live broadcasts of fisheries management meetings to fishermen at sea to experiential social media campaigns using Instagram - for communicating, bridging boundaries, and conducting research.

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 11:55am, by MEAM staff

By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM. Email: tundiagardy [at]

Long Island Sound, on the east coast of the US, is filled with paradox. The country’s priciest estates line part of its shores, while urban and industrial blight scar other areas. To the west, the metropolis of New York City and its suburbs have transformed once fertile salt marshes into near wastelands, while on its eastern side, the Sound opens up to some of the most fertile pelagic areas in the region. Long Island waters are a playground for the yachting rich, but also support some of the oldest fishing communities in the country. This semi-enclosed sea is at once a symbol of over-use and misuse and a productive and diverse ecosystem complex.

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 11:38am, by MEAM staff

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

The EBM Tools Network recently responded to a question about tools people have used to evaluate cumulative impacts from multiple human activities qualitatively, quantitatively, and/or spatially. Network members provided a number of great resources. Some of the more broadly applicable tools and resources Network members have used include:

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 11:28am, by MEAM staff

First Nations and British Columbia sign marine plan implementation agreements

The Canadian province of British Columbia and 17 coastal First Nations (indigenous peoples of Canada) have signed implementation agreements for the marine plans collaboratively developed by the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast. Plans were developed for four sub-regions: the Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, North Coast, and North Vancouver Island. The marine plans were completed in 2015 and include recommendations for marine management, uses, and activities to balance stewardship and economic development. The marine plans do not address management of uses and activities that the Province considers to be federal government jurisdiction, but First Nations and the Province are committed to working with the federal government on those issues. Read a press release about the signing of the implementation agreements and view overviews and full copies of the four plans. Read past MEAM coverage about the development of the MaPP marine plans.

Posted on August 31, 2016 - 11:23am, by MEAM staff

Editor’s Note: From the Archives calls attention to past MEAM articles whose perspectives and insight remain relevant.

In April 2015, the Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) released plans for over 100,000 km2 of the coastal waters of the Canadian province of British Columbia — making it the largest area in North America covered by ocean plans. Learn more from four MaPP team members about the factors that enabled MaPP to successfully negotiate the complex planning process.