Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Interesting MPA Mapping Tool from our Neighbours to the South

I have just come across the MarineMap Decision Support Tool. This interactive site was set up to assist Californian stakeholders in the design of Marine Protected Areas by mapping oceanographic, biological, geological, chemical, and human dimensions of the ocean and coastal areas. This MarineMap tool is a great way for a broad spectrum of stakeholders to understand the diverse range of factors that decision-makers must take into consideration when establishing a network of MPAs. California has kept its promise to establish a network of MPAs, as legislated by the State in the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act.

I hope that in the future, the PNCIMA process will also allow for the establishment of a network of MPAs in British Columbia, and I see the British Columbia Marine Conservation Analysis as a very useful source of information for this and for other marine planning decisions on our coast.

The yellow areas in the map to the right identify the top 50 locations of high conservation value identified by Living Ocean Society’s Conservation Utility Analysis (CUA), completed in 2004. The lessons learned in the CUA are being incorporated into the new and improved BCMCA project.

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