NOAA's Ecosystem Goal Team Newsletter

ADDENDUM to September 2008

In The News




In the News

Coastal & Marine Resources: MPA Center Unveils Marine Protected Areas Inventory

In early Spring 2008, the MPA Center unveiled the new Marine Protected Areas Inventory (MPA Inventory) on The MPA Inventory is based on the previously developed Marine Managed Areas (MMA) Inventory, which was active from 2001-2007. MMAs are a more inclusive category of place-based management than MPAs. Now, the draft definition of "MPA" used in the Revised Draft Framework for Developing the National System of Marine Protected Areas is being used as the criteria for inclusion in the MPA Inventory. The MPA Inventory contains information on nearly 1,800 sites and is the only such dataset in the nation. This unique, comprehensive inventory provides governments and stakeholders with access to information to make better decisions about the current and future use of place-based conservation. The MPA Inventory will be updated as necessary when the Framework becomes final in Fall 2008. It will be a key information resource for nominating eligible sites to the national system.

Contact: Mimi Diorio at

Coastal & Marine Resources: MPA Center Participates in International Workshop on MPAs, Corals and Electronic Navigational Charts

Staff from the MPA Center helped organize and participated in an international workshop led by the Office of Coast Survey to develop a draft standard for displaying environmental information on electronic navigational charts (ENCs). The workshop, held in San Francisco from June 3-5, involved hydrographic and environmental experts from eight countries, as well as representatives of the United Nations Environment Program and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary also provided local expertise on navigation issues in the Sanctuary. Participants came to consensus on a draft proposal to display information on marine protected areas and coral reef ecosystems on ENCs that will be refined and submitted for approval to an International Hydrographic Organization committee later this Fall.

Contact: Lauren Wenzel at or Charlie Wahle at

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Coastal & Marine Resources: MPA Center Publishes De Facto MPA Analysis Report

In Spring 2008, the MPA Center published the first ever synthesis of information on the location, purpose, and restrictions for all federal de facto MPAs in the U.S. De facto MPAs are areas that are established for purposes other than conservation. This report reveals important trends in how these areas are used, and describes whether and how de facto MPAs limit access or restrict human activities. Results from this analysis reveal that more than 1,200 de facto MPAs are located in and cover 3% of U.S. waters, however the vast majority of this area is open access. Use restrictions are primarily geared toward reducing potential accidents or conflicts of use in congested areas. "State of the Nation's De Facto Marine Protected Areas" is available to download on

Contact: Lauren Wenzel at

Coastal & Marine Resources: MPA Center Publishes Analysis Report on West Coast Marine Managed Areas

In Spring 2008, the MPA Center published a report describing characteristics of west coast marine managed areas (MMAs), illustrating how these types of place-based conservation are widely used in the west coast region. The report "The State of U.S. Marine Managed Areas: West Coast," summarizes how MMAs along the west coast of the U.S. are used to conserve marine resources and ecosystems. The report contains the best available information on the purpose, management approach, and location of MMAs off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. This report, combined with other regional analyses, will provide the foundation for an effective national system of MPAs. The report is available to download on

Contact: Lauren Wenzel at

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The Newsletter is an email newsletter of the Ecosystem Goal Team highlighting accomplishments and activities. The Newsletter is produced by the NOAA Ecoystem Goal Team staff to facilitate communication within NOAA and serve as a source of ecosystem information. The NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team supports effective management and sound science to promote an ecosystem approach to management.

Questions or comments? Contact Karen Eason, NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team, karen.eason@