Upcoming Events

How to do science so it influences marine policy and management: A panel discussion

Event Date: 
Thursday, January 28 at 11am US EST / 8am US PST / 4pm UTC

Moderator/panelists: Jon Fisher of The Pew Charitable Trusts (moderator), Yoshitaka Ota of the University of Washington (panelist), Christian Pohl of ETH Zurich (panelist), Mark Reed of Newcastle University (panelist), and Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy (panelist)

Many environmental scientists find that their research has less impact in the real world than they hoped for or expected. As a result, there is increasing interest in looking at where we fall short, and how we can improve. This panel discussion will feature insights and recommendations from researchers, transdisciplinary collaborators, and decision-makers with deep expertise in applying research to policy. Panelists will share their experiences, highlight useful resources for scientists, and discuss different approaches to improving research impact. Attendees will be able to ask questions and vote for which questions are the most interesting to pose to the panel.

***Please note that this webinar will run for 1.5 hours.***

Co-sponsors: OCTO (EBM Tools Network, The Skimmer, OpenChannels, MPA News, MarineDebris.info)

Building a State Plan to Monitor and Assess Marine Litter: Lessons Learned

Event Date: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 2pm US EST / 11am US PST / 7pm UTC

Marine litter monitoring programs are essential to determining and promoting feasible and effective actions to combat marine litter. However, consistent long-term monitoring programs are scarce worldwide. To address this gap, a statewide plan to monitor and assess marine litter was developed for São Paulo, Brazil. Combining science and public policies in a participatory construct, the plan introduces a set of suggested indicators that can be applied by a wide group of stakeholders and in a variety of locations and contexts.

Presented by: Carla Elliff, Mariana M. de Andrade, Natalia M. Grilli, and Vitória Scrich of the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo, Brazil

Co-sponsors: OCTO (MarineDebris.info, OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News, EBM Tools Network)

[If you are unable to access Zoom, you can view a livestream here at the time of the webinar]

Coral reef eco-evolutionary dynamics: Adaptation and connectivity in MPA networks under future climate change

Event Date: 
Thursday, February 25 at 1pm US EST / 10am US PST / 6pm UTC

Presented by: Helen Fox of Coral Reef Alliance, Lisa McManus of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and Lukas DeFilippo of University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center

While coral reefs face mounting threats, many coral populations are already well adapted to conditions unfavorable to the average coral (e.g., high temperatures, low pH, poor water quality). With the goal of better understanding the drivers of persistence and adaptive capacity and the role of management and MPAs, we developed a general eco-evolutionary framework to explore the influence of network structure and spatial management on a metapopulation’s adaptive response to temperature increase. This framework was applied to coral populations in the Caribbean, Southwest Pacific, and Coral Triangle to determine the characteristics of individual reefs that lead to persistence or decline under climate scenarios and test the efficacy of spatial management strategies (MPAs) in these three regions. We also used eco-evolutionary simulations to explore scenarios of coral propagation, transplantation, and assisted evolution and identified potential benefits and risks of these interventions. We find that corals’ vulnerability to climate change depends strongly on assumptions of their standing genetic variation, which determines the potential for an evolutionary response. One implication of this work is that MPA networks can promote persistence by protecting coral populations adapted to diverse environments so that corals with evolutionarily favored traits reproduce and spread throughout reef networks.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center and OCTO (MPA News, OpenChannels, EBM Tools Network)

Planning Ocean Uses in 3D

Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 3 at 1pm US EST / 10am US PST / 6pm UTC

Presented by: Mimi D'Iorio of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center and Charles Wahle of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center (retired)

Demand for ocean space is increasing, yet decision makers often lack tools to understand the complete requirements any given use may have for ocean space, and thus its potential to conflict with other coexisting uses. This webinar will present NOAA’s new Guide to Building and Applying Space Use Profiles for Ocean Management, which helps ocean planners, managers, and stakeholders fully visualize the holistic, three-dimensional footprint of diverse ocean uses and use that insight to more effectively manage ocean spaces. The Guide illustrates how each ocean use, including its distinct functional components, occupies specific horizontal and vertical ocean zones from the shoreline to the open ocean and from the airspace above the sea surface down to the seabed. The Guide can help inform zoning in marine protected areas and marine spatial plans and the siting of individual uses.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center and OCTO (MPA News, OpenChannels, EBM Tools Network)

Shifting MPAs for conservation and fisheries under a changing climate

Event Date: 
Tuesday, March 23 at 1pm US EDT / 10am US PDT / 5pm UTC

Presented by: Talya ten Brink of NOAA, Tu Nguyen of Ocean Nexus Center, Anne Mook of Nazarbayev University, Sarah Roberts of Duke University, and Juliano Palacios-Abrantes of University of British Columbia

Marine species are shifting their distribution towards colder waters because of climate change, potentially compromising the benefits and management objectives of currently established Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Therefore, it remains unclear what the long-term effectiveness of MPAs for conservation, fisheries, and reliant communities is under a changing climate. The team developed six MPA designs of equal size in an Ecopath with Ecosim model: four static MPAs (Square, Narrow Vertical, Narrow Horizontal, and Network) which stayed in place and two dynamic MPA designs (Square Shifting and Network Shifting) which moved 20 km poleward every 20 years to take into account the shifting nature of marine species affected by climate change. The model differentiated between the Static Horizontal and Static Vertical MPAs because of the expectation that vertically oriented MPAs will be more likely to benefit marine species as they shift poleward due to climate change. The Square Shifting MPA outperformed the Square Static MPA on all aggregate measures and outperformed all MPA orientations in terms of revenue. However, the results suggest that there is no one optimal solution in the face of climate change, and different MPA designs could potentially bring about regional benefits in terms of increased amount of fish and catch. The webinar will discuss our findings, including revenue, biomass, fisheries, and species-specific results.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center and OCTO (MPA News, OpenChannels, EBM Tools Network)