Identifying Important Areas for Conservation: A Gap Analysis of US Marine Biodiversity Protection and Knowledge

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 26 at 1pm US EDT / 10am US PDT / 5pm UTC

Presented by: Emmett Duffy of the Smithsonian Institution, Daniel Dunn of the University of Queensland, and Pat Halpin of Duke University

The Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States spans 24 ecoregions across three oceans and habitats ranging from oceanic coral reefs to glacial bays to deep-sea abyssal plains and vent ecosystems. This expansive territory hosts a similarly great diversity of marine life. Yet there has never been a systematic inventory of US living marine resources. Such information is an essential scientific foundation as the US and other nations embark on an expanded initiative to protect marine life and habitats. The Marine Biodiversity Dialogues project, sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and Lenfest Ocean Program, is conducting an initial, time-bound gap analysis of existing data to identify: 1) limits to existing knowledge of marine biodiversity and its distribution across the expansive US EEZ, and 2) key regions whose biodiversity is not well represented in existing marine protected areas (MPAs). This webinar will summarize findings of this gap analysis and discuss how the emerging science foundation can inform strategic prioritization for protection of marine habitats and regions in the US EEZ.

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