NOAA announced the inclusion of 82 existing marine protected areas into the National System of Marine Protected Areas. This addition brings the total number of marine protected areas in the national system to 437.
Sites in the system remain under the management of the agency that established them, but work voluntarily and cooperatively together to address common management problems, such as adapting to climate change impacts or managing emerging ocean uses.
"Linking marine protected areas through the national system builds partnerships and provides new opportunities for sharing ideas and collaborating on solutions to protect the healthy oceans that sustain coastal communities," said Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D., NOAA's assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service. "The national system also increases support for marine conservation by recognizing the critical contribution of these special areas to our shared marine conservation goals."
The national system was established in 2008 to connect and strengthen the nation's diverse marine protected area programs managed by federal, state, territorial, tribal and local governments. Familiar examples of marine protected areas include national marine sanctuaries, national parks, national wildlife refuges and their state counterparts.
Eighty of the new additions, such as Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve in the Channel Islands, are state marine protected areas established through California's Marine Life Protection Act and are managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The remaining two additions are Padre Island National Seashore in Texas and Redwoods National Park in California.
For a complete list of marine protected areas in the national system, including the 82 new additions, see http://marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/nationalsystem/nationalsystemlist/.
The National Marine Protected Areas Center serves as the nation's hub for building innovative partnerships and tools to protect special ocean places. It is located within NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and works in partnership with the Department of the Interior.
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