Establishment of marine protected areas, including fully protected marine reserves, is one of the few management tools available for local communities to combat the deleterious effect of large scale environmental impacts, including global climate change, on ocean ecosystems. Despite the common hope that reserves play this role, empirical evidence of the effectiveness of local protection against global problems is lacking. Here we show that marine reserves increase the resilience of marine populations to a mass mortality event possibly caused by climate-driven hypoxia.
This research has shown that kelp forest restoration is possible in barrens when purple urchins are selectively removed. These results provide support for the large-scale habitat restoration that is now being performed along the Palos Verdes Peninsula in cooperation with other local non-profits and commercial fishermen.
In 2003, California established thirteen marine protected areas (MPAs) in state waters around the northern Channel Islands, off the coast of Southern California. In 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration extended these MPAs into federal waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. These areas, most of which are no-take marine reserves, were designed to help restore biodiversity and ecosystem health by protecting local marine life and habitats.
Classic marine ecological paradigms view kelp forests as inherently temperate-boreal phenomena replaced by coral reefs in tropical waters. These paradigms hinge on the notion that tropical surface waters are too warm and nutrient-depleted to support kelp productivity and survival. We present a synthetic oceanographic and ecophysiological model that accurately identifies all known kelp populations and, by using the same criteria, predicts the existence of >23,500 km2 unexplored submerged (30- to 200-m depth) tropical kelp habitats.
A coalition of government and non-profit groups today announced results from a 2014 vessel speed reduction trial incentive program in the Santa Barbara Channel to slow cargo ships down to reduce air pollution and increase protection of endangered whales.
In June of 2016, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance released the Governors’ Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts, the third in a series of action plans to address issues common to all five Gulf States in a voluntary and cooperative way. Action Plan III is an aggressive five-year plan combining new and ongoing regional priorities including coastal resilience, data and monitoring, education and engagement, habitat resources, water resources, and wildlife and fisheries.
Building on the tremendous success of the first plan, GOMA released its second plan, the Governors’ Action Plan II for Healthy and Resilient Coasts in 2009. This five-year plan was more aggressive with solutions to address the challenges of the time, including sustaining Gulf economies, improving ecosystem health, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and improving water quality.
In 2004, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida reached out to the other four Gulf State Governors to encourage collaboration for the protection and restoration of their shared body of water. Two years later the five Gulf State Governors signed the first Governors’ Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts in 2006. The primary goal of Action Plan I was to increase integration of resources, knowledge, and expertise to address priorities identified by the five Gulf States.