Webinar: Real Steps toward EBM along the West Coast of the US

Date: 13 January 2011
Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST (6:00-7:30 p.m. GMT)

MEAM and the EBM Tools Network are co-hosting a live webinar with lessons on real-world EBM implementation from the West Coast EBM Network, which connects local EBM efforts in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Speakers will include the network coordinator and representatives from initiatives in the network.

The event is free of charge. You may register for the webinar at www1.gotomeeting.com/register/919341529. A recording of the webinar will be available afterward at www.ebmtools.org/about_ebm/meam.html. For any questions, contact Sarah Carr at sarah_carr@natureserve.org.

Rhode Island (US) releases ocean zoning plan

The first state-wide ocean zoning plan in the US was released in October by the state of Rhode Island. Called the Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), it lays out an ecosystem-based approach for the development and protection of Rhode Island's ocean resources. It also dictates the location of future offshore wind energy projects in the plan region, which covers 3800 km2.

The development of offshore wind energy was a main driver in creation of the SAMP. The state believes the plan – which significantly streamlines the siting of new offshore energy installations – could help shorten the leasing process for such installations from ten years to two years. The plan is available at http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/oceansamp. A press release is at www.ri.gov/GOVERNOR/view.php?id=12444.

Best practices on mapping human uses of the ocean

The US National Marine Protected Areas Center has released a 12-page manual on best practices for mapping human uses of the ocean. Designed to inform marine spatial planning, the manual is principally based on lessons learned from the Center's participatory GIS-based process to map human uses in waters off the state of California. The brief but informative manual walks readers through a step-by-step process of planning and managing workshops with local experts and stakeholders, as well as processing and mapping data from those workshops. The National MPA Center (in partnership with the Marine Conservation Biology Institute) has also released an online mapping tool to help people visualize the results of its project to map California ocean uses. The California Ocean Uses Atlas online mapping tool and the manual Mapping Human Uses of the Ocean are available at www.mpa.gov.

Guidelines on ecosystem approach to aquaculture development

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released guidelines to help policy-makers adopt an ecosystem approach to aquaculture. The guidance aims to integrate aquaculture within wider ecosystems so that it promotes sustainable development, equity, and social and ecological resilience. The guidelines are available at www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1750e/i1750e.pdf.

New report on links between invasive species and climate change

Climate change and invasive species are major threats to biodiversity and to ecosystem services that human communities need. When combined, the impacts of these threats can compound one another, leading to ever-greater ecosystem degradation. A new report from the Global Invasive Species Programme (an international partnership) examines the links between invasives and climate change, and how policy-makers and researchers can respond. Invasive Species, Climate Change and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Addressing Multiple Drivers of Global Change is at www.gisp.org/whatsnew/docs/Climate_Change_ReportA4.pdf.

Guide to restoring degraded reef ecosystems

A new manual provides step-by-step advice on how to rehabilitate degraded coral reefs – from planning a project, to constructing coral nurseries, to transplanting the coral, and more. Published by the Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management Program of GEF, the guidebook compiles lessons learned by researchers and practitioners worldwide. Although the manual aims to help minimize the failure of reef rehabilitation projects, the authors emphasize that success cannot be guaranteed. "Although restoration can enhance conservation efforts, restoration is always a poor second to the preservation of original habitats," they write. The Reef Rehabilitation Manual is available at www.gefcoral.org/Tools.aspx.

Canada/US council releases report on shared marine ecosystem

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment fosters cooperative action by Canada and the US to enhance environmental quality in their shared Gulf of Maine ecosystem, along the countries' North Atlantic coastline. The council has released a report on the state of that ecosystem to introduce readers to the Gulf's natural and socio-economic environment. It also recently released a draft habitat restoration and conservation plan to address regional issues of degraded water quality, lost habitat, toxins, invasive species, and climate change. Both documents are available on the council website at www.gulfofmaine.org.