Webinar Archives

Presented by by John Wathen of US EPA and Johanna Weston of the California State Water Board. Learn about two programs to protect the water quality critical to the health and effectiveness of marine protected areas. EPA's Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Program provides grants to coastal and Great Lakes states to monitor beaches for contamination and notify the public about water pollution threats. The program is now implementing new water quality criteria, including analysis and monitoring methods. California’s State Water Board administers 34 Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS). To preserve biologically unique and sensitive marine ecosystems for future generations, municipalities, wastewater treatment plants and other dischargers are regulated to reduce water pollution impacts to these special places.

This webinar was presented by the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership, Earth Economics, and the Ecosystem Services Partnership.

Ecosystem services valuation data is abundant, yet often hard to find. This is especially true for the marine world which has seen a proliferation of valuable data coming from a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals and grey literature. This webinar brings together three organizations offering tools and databases to ease access to and the use of valuation information. The Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP) offers a searchable library of marine valuation data, which currently holds over 800 studies. The MESP is also a community of practice updating its members on the latest news, events, and jobs in the field. Earth Economics recently developed an Ecosystem Valuation Toolkit. Their data repository is the “world's largest database of published valuation data and literature from natural and social sciences”. They also offer a self-service tool to conduct ecosystem service valuation and natural capital appraisal. The Ecosystem Services Partnership created the Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (ESVD) which contains original values in monetary units, organised by service and biome.

Presented by Lance Morgan, President, and Russell Moffitt, MPAtlas Project Manager; Marine Conservation Institute. Currently, only about 1.8% of the world’s oceans are in MPAs; far less than the 12% of land area that is protected. Of the world’s MPAs, only a small fraction—less than half—are in areas designated as no-take marine reserves, places where fishing is prohibited. MPAtlas.org is an interactive online compilation of key information on the world’s MPAs to help users locate and learn about individual MPAs. Speakers will discuss country- and regional-level progress towards implementing MPAs and allow users to obtain information on the distribution of MPAs relative to social, political, and ecological contexts.

Many communities are ready to take action to adapt to changing conditions, but may be unsure which actions are good investments. Recent software enhancements in the Coastal Adaptation to Sea level rise Tool (COAST) help predict and visualize damages from ranges of sea level rise and storm surge frequency and intensity and the relative benefits of candidate adaptation responses. COAST output is in the form of Google Earth-compatible files and tables showing costs versus benefits (avoided costs) of stakeholder-derived adaptation scenarios. These outputs have proven effective in helping communities generate policy and finance innovations necessary for a robust response to the combined threats of sea level rise and storm surge. The webinar will explore new capabilities of the tool and provide an array of recent case studies and other software enhancements underway. The free software is available online, along with a user's manual and tutorial data sets, at http://efc.muskie.usm.maine.edu/pages/coast.html.

Thinking about starting a citizen science program and wondering how to make it successful? On this webinar, organizers from three marine citizen science programs in Australia will talk about their citizen science experiences and answer questions from participants. The webinar will last 1.5 hours to allow ample time for questions/discussion after the presentations. 

Peter Edwards of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program presented this webinar with the EBM Tools Network  and the National MPA Center. How do we know what impacts MPAs and other coastal management tools are having on the lives of people who live nearby? This information is critical for management decisions, but often lacking. The Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon) works through regional and local partners to conduct community-based socioeconomic monitoring. Partners collect household and community level data about dependence on coral reef resources, perceptions of resource conditions, threats to marine and coastal resources, and support for strategies such as marine protected areas. Take a look at some of these monitoring exercises and learn about findings, lessons learned and challenges facing effective use of human dimensions data as part of coastal resource management.

Aulani Wilhelm of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument presented this webinar with the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network. Is big always better? Big Ocean is a network of managers and partners of existing and proposed large-scale marine managed areas. The network’s aim is to improve the effectiveness of management efforts, to serve as a peer learning resource and support system, and to build the professional standards of practice for large, remote MPAs. The six founding member sites in Australia, the United States, Kiribati, Chagos (UK) and Chile represent more than 900,000 mi2 (2.3 million km2) of ocean ecosystems – roughly the same size as the Mediterranean Sea.

On this webinar, cohosted by the EBM Tools Network, organizers from three marine citizen science programs along the U.S. West Coast will describe how their programs work and answer questions from webinar participants. The webinar will last 1.5 hours to allow ample time for questions/discussion after the presentations. Featured presenters and projects are: Jan Freiwald from Reef Check California; Julia Parrish of the University of Washington; Sarah Sikich​ of Heal the Bay.

Presented by Mark Finkbeiner and Chris Robinson of NOAA. The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) provides a comprehensive national framework for organizing information about coasts and oceans and their living systems. This framework accommodates the physical, biological, and chemical data that collectively define coastal and marine ecosystems. The recent endorsement of CMECS by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is an important step in facilitating development of regionally consistent spatial data and integrating data derived using various technologies. While some users will employ CMECS at the outset of their projects, for many others CMECS will form the unifying framework for incorporating existing spatial data classified according to other systems. To facilitate this process, NOAA Coastal Services Center has developed a tool which imports benthic cover data classified using the System for Classification of Habitats in Estuarine and Marine Environments (SCHEME) and produces a CMECS geodatabase as an output product. This tool functions in an ESRI environment and can be adapted to work with other classification systems. This presentation will highlight the CMECS data model, demonstrate the tool’s functionality, describe the cross-walking process, and show how it can be adapted to other commonly used data. Read more about CMECS at csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/publications/cmecs. This webinar was cosponsored by the EBM Tools Network.

Maxine Westhead of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, presented this webinar with the EBM Tools Network  and the National MPA Center. Planning a network of MPAs off of Canada’s East Coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is no small task. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the lead agency of this effort, working in partnership with Environment Canada, Parks Canada and the provinces to design a marine protected areas network that represents the region’s diverse habitats and ecosystems to meet the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as national and regional goals and mandates.  Maxine will describe the work completed to date for this unique area of Canadian waters, successes, challenges, and next steps in the planning process.