Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/205896
National Ocean Policy Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Planning Protecting endangered marine life. by Dr. David Wiley Research Coordinator National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Leila Hatch Marine Ecologist National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mr. Michael Thompson Environmental Geographer National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Kurt Schwehr Head of Ocean Engineering Google Dr. Craig MacDonald Superintendent Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary U.S. national marine sanctuaries are federally designated marine protected areas that are often located in highly productive waters, which makes these sanctuaries important to a diverse, economically vital human user community and for biodiversity conservation. As a result, appropriate sanctuary management must balance conflicting goals. Fortunately, sanctuaries have been early adapters in marine planning. Marine planning is a transparent, ecosystem-based, science-driven decision making process developed with a high level of stakeholder and public involvement. As established marine planning practitioners, national marine sanctuaries can provide valuable case studies and insights. Marine Planning in Action For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, an 852-square-mile marine protected area located off the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, hosts some of the largest aggregations of endangered large whales (such as the humpback,fn,andNorthAtlanticrightwhales).However, theBostonTraffcSeparationScheme(BTSS),amajor shipping route, transits it. Because of its close proximity to transiting ships, the area has become a "hot spot" for collisions between vessels and whales. To reduce incidents near the sanctuary and in its surrounding waters, we used a marine planning process to: ■ ■ The co-occurrence of endangered whales and commercial ships made the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary a historic "hot spot" for lethal collisions. Photo courtesy of NOAA /Stellewagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. 10 Proceedings Fall 2013 ■ identify a new BTSS route to spatially separate whales and ships, gain stakeholder and government acceptance for the route, verify mariner compliance, www.uscg.mil/proceedings