Webinar Archives

This webinar was presented by Stephen Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.

Rewards for whistleblowers – people who inform authorities when a law has been broken – have been extremely successful when effectively implemented.  Whistleblower rewards incentivize insiders to report information, and support law enforcement’s ability to detect crime that they might not otherwise uncover.  

There have been over 70 whistleblower cases dealing with marine pollution under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) in recent years – generally involving situation in which ships have illegally dumped oil somewhere in the world in violation of the MARPOL Protocol. Some of these cases have resulted in rewards of more than US $1 million to the whistleblowers under APPS’s whistleblower reward provision—which allows informants to receive up to 50% of the collected proceeds from a successful prosecution. The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) is now working to utilize whistleblower provisions in other laws aimed at protecting marine wildlife, such as the Endangered Species ActLacey Actand Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act, to combat the catch, sale, and transport of protected species and fishing conducted in no-fishing areas. These laws contain underutilized reward provisions with great potential for improving detection and enforcement–but for the past 30 years they have not been implemented. The NWC launched the Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program to raise awareness of whistleblower reward provisions and provide assistance – including a safe, worldwide reporting system – to wildlife whistleblowers. This webinar will provide an overview of whistleblower reward laws relevant to marine practitioners, as well as resources to help wildlife and marine pollution whistleblowers. Learn more about how US whistleblowing laws could open up new financing streams for MPAs worldwide. Learn more about the National Whistleblower Center.

Webinar co-sponsored by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org) and MEAM.

This webinar was presented by Matthew Chasse of NOAA and Robert Toonen of HIMB.

The newly designated He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve is the 29th in the National Estuarine Research Reserve system and the first in Hawaii. The 1,385-acre reserve includes upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs, and seagrass beds, as well as the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain. The reserve also includes significant historic and cultural resources. This webinar will cover the process leading to the designation, and the reserve’s partnerships and management goals, including the integration of traditional Hawai'ian ecosystem management with contemporary approaches. Learn more about the new reserve at https://coast.noaa.gov/nerrs/reserves/hawaii.html.

Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org).

This webinar was presented by Dawn Wright of Esri.

This webinar reported progress on the Ecological Marine Units (EMU) project, a new undertaking commissioned by the Group on Earth Observations, to develop a standardized and practical global ecosystems classification and map for the oceans. The EMU is comprised of a global point mesh framework, created from 52,487,233 points from the NOAA World Ocean Atlas. Each point has x, y, z, as well as six attributes of chemical and physical oceanographic structure (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, silicate, phosphate) that are likely drivers of many ecosystem responses. We identify and map 37 environmentally distinct 3D regions (candidate ‘ecosystems’) within the water column. These units can be attributed according to their productivity, direction and velocity of currents, species abundance, global seafloor geomorphology, and more. A series of data products for open access will share the 3D point mesh and EMU clusters at the surface, bottom, and within the water column, as well as 2D and 3D web apps for exploration of the EMUs and the original World Ocean Atlas data. This webinar provided an overview of the EMU project and cover recent developments and future plans for the EMUs. 

Webinar co-sponsored by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org) and MEAM.

This webinar was presented by Matthew Chasse of NOAA, and Robert Toonen of the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology.

The newly designated He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve is the 29th in the National Estuarine Research Reserve system and the first in Hawaii. The 1,385-acre reserve includes upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs, and seagrass beds, as well as the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain. The reserve also includes significant historic and cultural resources. This webinar will cover the process leading to the designation, and the reserve’s partnerships and management goals, including the integration of traditional Hawai'ian ecosystem management with contemporary approaches. Learn more about the new reserve at https://coast.noaa.gov/nerrs/reserves/hawaii.html.

Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org).

This webinar was presented by Erich Pacheco and Johanna Polsenberg of Conservation International, and Julie Lowndes of NCEAS.

The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is the first assessment tool that scientifically combines key biological, economic, and social elements of ocean health to guide decision makers towards sustainable use of the ocean. Now working in more than 30 countries globally, the Ocean Health Index is a useful tool across geographic jurisdictions where coastal and marine policy decisions are made. Its standardized structure is repeatable and familiar across assessment jurisdictions but it is flexible to represent the important social and ecological characteristics, values, and priorities of the area assessed. Independent groups are able to lead assessments within their own waters, deciding what is important to measure and which data to include while building directly from the experiences and methods from other OHI assessments.

Webinar co-sponsored by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org) and MEAM.

This webinar was presented by Grace Goldberg of the University of California Santa Barbara.

SeaSketch is a decision support tool that supports collaborative map-based design workflows – putting science and information at the center of participatory processes. SeaSketch empowers all participants to engage directly with GIS tools – exploring mapped data, expressing and analyzing their plan ideas, and more. Over the past five years, SeaSketch has been used in dozens of projects all around the world – ranging from comprehensive marine spatial planning processes to community-driven conservation planning processes to facilitating collaboration between remote teams of scientists planning for data acquisition and vetting existing data sets. All of these projects have had unique needs, and the tool developers from the McClintock Lab at UC Santa Barbara have updated and adapted the tool to meet these needs and support these processes. This webinar will give participants an overview of the SeaSketch platform, share exciting new feature additions that have been implemented to strengthen collaboration between remote teams, and highlight the resources tool developers provide so users can get the most out of their SeaSketch project. Learn more about SeaSketch at http://www.seasketch.org.

Webinar co-sponsored by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org) and MEAM.

This webinar was presented by David Gill of Conservation International and George Mason University.

Over the past two decades, marine protected areas (MPAs) have become a prominent tool to conserve marine ecosystems globally. Many unanswered questions remain regarding the ecological impacts of MPAs and the linkages between MPA management and resulting impacts, however. Using a global database of management and fish population data (433 and 218 MPAs, respectively), the authors of a major new study published in Nature found that most MPAs positively impact marine fish populations and that the magnitude of these impacts are strongly associated with available staff and budget capacity. Despite the critical role of MPA management, only 35 percent of MPAs globally reported acceptable funding and only 9 percent globally reported adequate staffing. While the global community focuses on expanding the current MPA network, these results emphasize the importance of meeting capacity needs in current and future MPAs to ensure the effective conservation of marine species. Find information about the study at https://www.openchannels.org/literature/16775.

Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org).

This webinar was presented by by Carlie Herring of NOAA.

Dive into the world of microplastics with the NOAA Marine Debris Program! Learn about what microplastics are, the different types, the impacts associated with microplastic marine debris, and future research needs.

Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org).

This webinar was presented by Ben Halpern of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Steve Katona of Conservation International.

The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is a scientific assessment framework that combines and compares biological, physical, economic, and social elements of ocean health to assess how sustainably ocean resources are utilized within a given region. The OHI team recently published its fifth annual global assessment. For this webinar, lead scientists Benjamin Halpern and Steven Katona will discuss changes in OHI scores over five years, possible causes and consequences of those changes, challenges and opportunities for composite indicators to incorporate the best available science each year, and lessons learned in repeating and improving the OHI assessment each year.

This webinar was presented by Mark Carr of University of California at Santa Cruz and Sarah Robinson of Critical Inquiries Research.

The US Marine Protected Area (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) has a Connectivity Subcommittee charged with understanding how knowledge about ecological spatial connectivity and climate climate change can be incorporated into the design, use, and management of effective MPAs and MPA networks. The committee has summarized the current scientific understanding of: 1) different types and scales of connectivity and their ecological implications, 2) how connectivity processes create ecological linkages among marine areas, populations, communities, and ecosystems, and 3) how connectivity impacts conservation outcomes in MPAs. This webinar will summarize the work of the FAC on the implications of spatial ecological connectivity for the design and application of MPAs in a changing ocean. This work forms the basis of the FAC's recommendations to the US Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior for future US MPA management and policy.

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