Upcoming Webinars

Using oral histories to improve MPA planning and management

Tuesday, December 5, 3 pm US EST/Noon US PST/8 pm UTC. Presented by: Nicola Johnstone of New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Marine Strategy Implementation. Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been used for decades to conserve biological diversity and ecological systems, underpinned by knowledge gained from natural science disciplines. However, little consideration has been given to understanding the human element. Oral histories as a research methodology can help address this. They can contribute significant new knowledge and insights to the planning and management of an MPA, and through the research process, build relationships with community, improve trust, and bridge the people-environment-management divide. This was demonstrated in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with seventy people from varied backgrounds who have a relationship with the SIMP. Three key themes were explored: the process to declare the SIMP, how and why people connect to the SIMP, and changes in the SIMP observed over time. This webinar will illustrate the substantial benefits of using oral history for MPA planning and management and will provide tips and best practices for using oral histories as a research methodology.

The global state of seascape restoration: Progress, needs, and opportunities

Tuesday, December 12, 11 am US EST/8 am US PST/4 pm UTC. Presented by: Giulia Costa-Domingo and Rowana Walton of the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Description: At least EUR3.35 billion, across 237 projects, has been invested in seascape restoration since 2015. The recent report Endangered Seascapes: Progress, needs and opportunities for seascape restoration by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) reveals the locations, primary sources of funding, and beneficiaries of large-scale marine and coastal restoration efforts taking place around the world. It focuses on large, “seascape”-scale projects, recognising the importance of integrated approaches to the use and conservation of coastal and marine socio-ecological systems. The report synthesises the findings from a project, commissioned by Arcadia, which reviewed a non-comprehensive list of seascape restoration projects to provide a high-level overview of the state of seascape restoration that can support evidence-based restoration funding and planning. This webinar will cover the major findings from the project’s report and accompanying database which are both available online for free and contain a high-level analysis of marine restoration work undertaken from 2015-2022.

A Groundbreaking New Approach to Tsunami Detection and Warning

Wednesday, January 10, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC. Presented by: Louise Comfort of the University of Pittsburgh and Lee Freitag of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Description: Tsunamis are infrequent but terrifying hazards for coastal communities. Difficult to predict, they materialize with little warning, claiming thousands of lives and causing billions of dollars in damage. Developing countries cannot afford costly underwater cable systems, and governments and relief organizations have been forced to rely on flawed warning systems such as deep-sea buoys. Now, a groundbreaking new approach to tsunami detection and warning, which relies on low-cost underwater sensors and networks of smartphone communication, has changed the equation. Developed by an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, this approach allows at-risk coastal communities to have an economically viable, scientifically sound means to protect themselves. Learn about the science behind this new approach in this webinar with Louise Comfort and Lee Freitag. Discover how this new sociotechnical approach could alert residents to impending tsunami threats in near-real time and how the approach could apply to all coastal cities at risk of tsunamis, sea-level rise, storm surges, and other hazards.

Should fishers be paid to fish less?

Wednesday, January 17, 11 am US EST/8 am US PST/4 pm UTC. Presented by: Francois Mosnier of Planet Tracker. Description: In many cases, overfishing occurs because fishing companies are financially incentivized to fish as much as they legally can. But what if these incentives were reversed? Planet Tracker’s award-winning ‘Blue Recovery Bond’ concept shows that paying fishing companies to fish less could be both financially and environmentally rewarding. Planet Tracker is now identifying the areas where this concept could be piloted. This webinar will explain how a Blue Recovery Bond works, how to identify a good candidate fishery, and outline the eligibility criteria Planet Tracker has developed. The audience will be invited to comment on the methodology and provide examples of areas of interest.

Mud matters: Understanding the role of ocean sediments in storing carbon

Thursday, February 15, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC. Presented by: Sara Hutto of the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. Description: The sediments of the vast ocean floor represent the world’s largest non-fossil pool of organic carbon, yet they are not well-studied or protected. The carbon in these sediments can remain stored for thousands to millions of years; however, activities such as mining, oil and gas exploration, and bottom-contact fishing can disturb sediment, resuspending it into the water column and potentially remineralizing carbon into aqueous CO2. Current understanding of marine sediment carbon along the US West Coast is limited, constraining meaningful management and protection of these critically important carbon sinks. The Greater Farallones Association, in partnership with NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and NOAA’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, conducted the first systematic evaluation of marine sedimentary carbon stocks in North-central California. This webinar will discuss the importance of marine sediments in global carbon sequestration and storage. It will also present the results of this study, including an estimate of the carbon stock within the Sanctuaries’ marine sediments and identification of carbon “hot-spots” on the seafloor based on a novel spatial model of carbon density.

Past Webinars

A New Tool for Identifying Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Presented by: Johnny Briggs and Felipe Paredes of the IUCN OECM Specialist Group. Description: Many sites – termed other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) – make a vital contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, even though they are not protected areas. In 2022, OECMs were included among the ways that parties could fulfill their commitment to conserve 30% of the Earth under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. To assist government officials, land managers, and conservationists, IUCN WCPA recently published a step-by-step site level tool for identifying OECMs. This tool allows an assessor to determine if a site meets the Convention on Biological Diversity definition and criteria of an OECM. For sites which do not currently meet all the criteria, the tool serves to highlight areas where further information or improvements in governance and management are required.

The MPA Health Tracker tool: Measuring, tracking, and communicating MPA performance in real time

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Presented by: Christine Ward-Paige of eOceans. Description: Marine protected areas, and all ocean management areas, urgently need to work. Measuring, tracking, and communicating performance in real-time is necessary to iterate towards success. A participatory framework — integrating technology, cloud-computing, and big data processing with purpose-built maps, analytics, and algorithms, and an ethical approach to data sharing — can help. The eOceans app and analytics platform were specifically designed to host the MPA Health Tracker and MPA Health Score. These tools provide both in-depth and high-level assessments of MPAs across social, biological, and anthropogenic dimensions, accessible to all stakeholders, rightsholders, and decision makers. The system was created to break down silos and enable collaborative MPA performance tracking to facilitate smart actions in a timely and united way.

Developing Offshore Wind in US Waters Part 2: Offshore Wind Development and the Structure and Function of Marine Ecosystems

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, September 21, 2023. Presented by: Jon Hare of the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Description: The pace, scale, and magnitude of offshore wind development in the US and around the globe is increasing rapidly. Countries are committing to this new ocean use to decarbonize their energy systems and as a goal for economic growth. The scale of this development has moved from small turbines in shallow waters of the North Sea to new technologies that allow for large-scale industrialization in marine ecosystems. This webinar will explore the potential interactions of this growing industry with the structure and function of marine ecosystems and what science is still needed to better understand these interactions.

Planning for MPA Resilience: Lessons Learned from Using the Resilience Self-assessment Tool (R-SAT)

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, September 14, 2023. Presented by: Jean-Jacques Goussard of the Ocean Governance Project, Mike De Luca of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mathieu Ducrocq of the Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO), Lilian Wetzel of the Ocean Governance Resilience Partnership, and MPA managers from Senegal, Colombia, Brazil, and the US. Description: The Ocean Governance Resilience Partnership has developed the Resilience Self-assessment Tool ( R-SAT) for addressing the resilience of MPAs. Over 80 MPAs in 17 countries have conducted resilience self-assessments with the tool, and since December 2022, several trainings of trainers have been organized, including in Senegal, Brazil, Colombia, Comoros, and the US. This webinar will present lessons learned from applying the tool and feedback from the recent training of trainers, including how future-oriented management approaches and risk reduction are being integrated into the tool. In addition, several MPA managers will share their experiences applying the tool. Learn more about R-SAT at https://tinyurl.com/MPAresilience.

Addressing ocean sewage pollution: Financing wastewater treatment upgrades at scale

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Presented by: Tanya Amaya of the Coral Reef Alliance, Roderic Hodges of Marine Change, and Jos Hill of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Description: Ocean sewage pollution is a global challenge that is damaging marine and coastal ecosystems and harming people’s health. Improving management of human waste can be complex and expensive, yet the impacts can dramatically improve coastal ecosystems and human health. In this webinar we will hear from Tanya Amaya, Regional Program Director for Mesoamerica at the Coral Reef Alliance, about how they improved wastewater management in West End, Roatan, Honduras, and their approach and challenges to scaling wastewater improvements across Honduras. We will also hear from Roderic Hodges, Director of Investment at Marine Change, about an assessment of sanitation investment in Southeast Asia and the operations and management business model innovation necessary to finance fixing this issue at scale.

Strengthening Blue Carbon Solutions in US Ocean Policy

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. Presented by: Anne Christianson of the Center for American Progress. Description: The ocean is gaining prominence in climate change policy circles as a tool for addressing the climate crisis. Blue carbon, the carbon captured and stored by marine and coastal ecosystems and species, offers potential as a “nature-based solution” to climate change. However, some blue carbon interventions may not be suitable as a climate mitigation response. This presentation will present results from a recent paper that gives context to numerous blue carbon sequestration pathways, quantifying their potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and comparing these sequestration pathways to point-source emissions reductions. The applicability of blue carbon will be discussed in terms of multiple international policy frameworks, to help individuals and institutions utilize the appropriate framework to reach ocean conservation and climate mitigation goals.

Developing Offshore Wind in US Waters Part 1: The Planning and Regulatory Framework

This webinar originally aired Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Presented by: Brian Hooker of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Betsy Nicholson of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, and Joy Page of the US Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office. Description: The deployment of offshore wind energy facilities in US waters has tremendous potential to help the country deliver on its climate change commitments and clean energy goals. It is also a reality beginning to take shape with the first commercial-scale facilities beginning construction in 2023 in the Northeast US. In Part 1 of our webinar series on ocean wind energy in US waters, we will explore the historical and policy background and framing behind the US wind energy transition, including an introduction to the planning and regulation processes and the players involved. This webinar will set the groundwork for future discussions exploring offshore wind energy, its future in US waters, and its compatibility and interactions with marine protected areas and other ocean uses.

Managing for Climate Change in MPAs: Stories and Tools from National Marine Sanctuaries and the National MPA Center

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Presented by: Lauren Wenzel of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center, Zac Cannizzo of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Sara Hutto of the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, and Jillian Neuberger of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and National Marine Protected Areas Center. Description: U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Protected Areas Center are leaders in MPA management in a changing ocean. By leveraging the diversity of ecosystems, geographies, cultures, and experiences represented in the National Marine Sanctuary System, they have developed a suite of products that can help other MPA managers advance and accelerate climate-smart management of their MPAs. This webinar will highlight climate monitoring, assessment, and adaptation experiences from the National Marine Sanctuary System and share a number of new products and tools from the National MPA Center, including an MPA Climate Vulnerability Assessment Guide and Climate Adaptation Story Map, designed to help MPA managers accelerate and enhance climate monitoring, assessment, and adaptation within their own MPAs.

Assessing MPA Resilience: An introduction to R-SAT, the Resilience Self-Assessment Tool for MPAs

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Presented by: Jean-Jacques Goussard of the Ocean Governance Project. Description: The online MPA Resilience Assessment Platform has been developed within the Resilience Partnership, a component of the EU-funded Ocean Governance Project. The platform addresses the ability of MPAs to deal with the environmental, social, economic, cultural, institutional, political, and technical aspects of rapid changes. A key component of the platform – R-SAT, the Resilience Self-Assessment Tool – is a rapid and accessible self-assessment tool that provides clear results and practical guidelines and recommendations that can help MPAs develop skills to deal with rapid changes internally and in the surrounding region. The tool also stimulates discussion that builds a common knowledge base and understanding among managers and other stakeholders and provides important input to management plans. MPA managers from 16 countries around the world are already using R-SAT. New developments with the tool will enable it to be used for prospective MPAs, over a wider geographic area, with more stakeholders, and account for 30×30 objectives.

A New Toolkit for Engaging Youth in Ocean Health and Conservation

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Presented by: Ajay Sawant of Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Julia Lara Navarrete of Autonomous University of Baja California, Rebecca Allen of Western Washington University, Serag Heiba of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Summer Snell of Brookes University, and Frances Lang of The Ocean Foundation. Description: With support from The Ocean Foundation and National Geographic Society, a group of young writers between the ages of 18-25 are creating a “youth ocean action toolkit” focused on the ocean literacy principles and marine protected areas (MPAs). This toolkit – written by youth for youth – provides community examples of how youth can take action to conserve their ocean; demonstrates the benefit of MPAs for ocean conservation; includes links to resources and multimedia content; and features a strong social media component. The toolkit will be available this summer in English and Spanish. This webinar featuring some of the toolkit’s youth authors will provide an overview of the content and techniques to engage and empower young people around the world.

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