Climate-related drivers of change – such as ocean warming, acidification, and deoxygenation – will alter ocean conditions and lead to changes in marine ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as the redistribution of the services that the oceans provide (see Figure 1). As a consequence, human uses that rely on these services – fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism for example – will also undergo spatial and temporal changes at multiple scales. These changes will include local increases and decreases in intensity of uses and relocation of uses. Marine spatial planning (MSP) informs the distribution of ocean uses in space and time, and it will undoubtedly be affected by climate change at all scales ranging from global to local.
The Skimmer & MPA News
- World on track to reach 1.5°C warming by 2030-2052
- Morocco and Gambia only countries meeting Paris climate goals
- Oceans may be retaining more heat than previously estimated
- Study assesses potential for ocean-based measures to counter climate change (policy brief also available)
- European Parliament approves ban on single-use plastics
- Plastic creating new habitats and promoting invasibility of the deep sea
- Guidance for addressing land-sea interactions in MSP available
- New policy brief on implementing ecosystem-based approach in MSP available
- New tool provides free access to management-relevant ocean data
- Report compares costs and capabilities of marine monitoring techniques
- New database documents effectiveness of green infrastructure
- Materials for integrated coastal management training course available
- User guide created for EU MSP Platform
Creating a new marine management or conservation plan? You can learn what others have done in the past – build on their research and experiences and avoid making the same mistakes – using the new Conservation Planning Database. The database has just been launched with 163 peer-reviewed papers on 155 marine systematic conservation planning exercises worldwide. The database can help planners find relevant conservation plans from all over the world including their local area, help scientists study trends in conservation planning, and help donors and NGOs identify regions where little conservation planning has been done.
Following the October 2018 article on marine ecosystem restoration, MEAM also had the opportunity to interview Rohani Ambo-Rappe, a lecturer at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. She shared her experiences and advice from her work on seagrass restoration in the region. She can be contacted at rohani.amborappe [at] gmail.com for further information.
Marine ecosystem restoration – such as reconstructing saltmarshes that have been lost to human development, replanting coastal mangrove forests that have been degraded, and enhancing the structural complexity of damaged reefs – is an emerging field that seeks to move ecosystems to healthier states, often with the goal of increasing their ability to provide ecosystem services.
- First round of UN treaty negotiations on high seas biodiversity wraps up (read more here and here)
- Marine protection plan presented to Bahamian government for review and approval
- Ireland reaches first milestone in MSP process, publishing report on all marine activity
- European Commission finds EU has made some progress - but not enough - on reducing pressures on marine environment
- New database allows users to find and compare conservation plans from around the world
- Resources available for teaching about ocean planning to secondary/post-secondary classrooms
- 35 percent of wetlands lost between 1970 and 2015
- Jamaica bans single use plastic bags and straws by 2019
- Training helps US communities calculate nuisance flooding frequency
- New guidance helps US practitioners incorporate habitat protection and restoration into flood mitigation activities
- Indicators developed to assess ecological resilience of five Gulf of Mexico ecosystems
- Take a survey on critical research gaps for EBM implementation in US
- Apply for a free Saildrone data mission by December 31
- European Commission calls for MSP proposals by October 23
- One Planet – One Ocean: From Science to Solutions MOOC underway – registration still available
By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM. Email: tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net
I’m of two minds about restoration. On one hand, I’m amazed and encouraged by the advancements made in fixing some of the damage we’ve done to marine habitats such as salt marshes, seagrasses, mangroves, and coral and shellfish reefs. New technologies and knowledge are creating possibilities we could only dream of in the past. On the other hand, I worry about our hubris, and whether we are really fixing the damage done, or just creating the illusion that we can successfully reconstruct healthy, functioning ecosystems. And I worry that, if this illusion is accompanied by the deception that restoring ecosystems is easy, we pave the way for wholesale pillaging of the earth.
By Robert Orth, Professor of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Email: jjorth [at] vims.edu
The system of barrier islands, coastal bays, and salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of Virginia’s portion of the Delmarva Peninsula represent some of the most natural, unspoiled coastal habitat along the US East Coast. Historically, finfish and shellfish resources in this region supported large fisheries. However, during the 1930s, this region underwent a dramatic ecological shift.
Last month’s EBM Toolbox column with resources for teaching about marine protected areas has been updated to include resources from the US NOAA National MPA Center and National Marine Sanctuaries network. Check it out here.
"If the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disastrous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidizers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn't even know..."
--- Microbiologist Tom Curtis in Nature, 2006
Most marine microbes are marine organisms too small to be seen by the unaided human eye (that is, roughly less than 0.1 mm). They make up 98 percent of ocean biomass, are the foundation of all marine food webs, and are a major driver of most of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, including those of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus (not to mention those of sulfur, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine).