MPA 101: Freshwater Protected Areas

By Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein

Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein are part of a team of CPCIL Research and Knowledge Gatherers producing content and compiling resources on themes such as inclusion, ecosocial justice, partnerships, conservation, organizational sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, connection to nature, conservation financing, and ecotourism, to support effective and equitable leadership and inclusion in parks and protected areas across Canada.

MPA Technical Report by Rachel Goldstein and Hameet Singh.
Click to read the full report.

MPAs are increasingly receiving more coverage and recognition as an invaluable tool in the protection and rejuvenation of important marine species diversity. However, freshwater biodiversity still continues to decline in rivers, lakes and wetlands, threatened by irrigation, invasive species, changes in hydrology, pollution, and industrial and domestic overuse (1). Freshwater fish have become the world’s most endangered group of vertebrates after amphibians and may become extinct in the next 20-25 years (2).

Figure 1: Algal Bloom in Lake Erie. Credit: Canadian Freshwater Alliance.

It is also projected that the extinction rate of freshwater species will be about five times more than of terrestrial species and three times more than coastal marine species. Canada constitutes 20% of the world’s surface freshwater (3) and is considered abundant in this precious resource. Nevertheless, freshwater here is also in peril, with the Great Lakes falling victim to algal blooms (4) (Figure 1), the South Saskatchewan River in Alberta being overexploited (5), and the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories becoming contaminated by mining run-off and waste (6). Freshwater protected areas (FWPAs) are one solution proposed to combat such changes, established to safeguard inland freshwaters that are crucial to human society and wildlife. FWPAs and the conservation of freshwater resources have been found to be central to sustaining biodiversity (7), as freshwater ecosystems have the greatest species diversity per unit area (8). They also provide ecosystem services and sustain economies and communities, providing benefit for fishing, tourism and agriculture to name a few. 

Challenges

Despite their benefits, few FWPAs exist, and freshwater habitats are usually included as a part of terrestrial reserves, which does not ensure their protection. Activities such as dam building (Figure 2), road infrastructure or the diversion of water can still occur within or on the fringes of park boundaries, having negative impacts on freshwater ecosystems (2).  An effective FWPA system is lacking in most parts of the world, and many of those that are implemented are by chance due to being a part of a larger encompassing terrestrial protected area (9). Research and study in the area of FWPAs is also deficient, with traditional theories of conservation misaligning with the freshwater realm and insufficient monitoring to support their implementation (10). Furthermore, conservation planning in the case of freshwater has been traditionally lagging largely due to the spatial and temporal connectivity complexities that characterize freshwater systems (8).

Figure 2: Dams and water crossings located within Ontario's protected areas. Credit: MNR

A myriad of political, economic and cultural facets can also make FWPA planning difficult, with jurisdictional divisions within and across national boundaries (as is the case in the Great Lakes) obstructing efforts to create freshwater exclusive protected areas (2).  Such problems are worsened in the case of river systems due to the long distances that they can traverse. Freshwater habitats are also central sites of human settlement, and as such, the formation of FWPAs can require several negotiation and consultation phases with local communities and relevant stakeholders (11). 

Opportunities

Several prospects and management strategies exist to unlock the potential of FWPAs. One such method is the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR), the first of the global nature conservation conventions (12) and the most extensive list of sites focusing on wetland conservation (9). Signed in 1971, RAMSAR provides an international framework for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands around the world, including lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, brackish estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fishponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and salt pans (12). Canada has 37 designated RAMSAR sites, implemented through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Canadian Federal Government Policy on Wetland Conservation (13). This includes the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Figure 3), which is also the second largest RAMSAR site in the world (11). In addition, a system for heritage or wild rivers can serve as a good representation of traditional protected area management better fitting the freshwater environment (14).

Figure 3: Ross's and snow geese at the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a RAMSAR designated site. Credit: Canada C3

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS), created in 1984, is one such example of this (15). It is a collaborative effort between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, aimed to promote, protect, and enhance Canada’s river heritage (16). The CHRS works with local managers and stewardship groups to ensure the ecological integrity of their associated designated rivers. However, a gap that remains to be addressed is that the CHRS does not prohibit or mandate any activities (14). Furthermore, to overcome multi-jurisdictional obstacles, the International Joint Commission (IJC) was set up by the Boundary Waters Treaty as a bi-national organization between the governments of Canada and the United States to cooperatively manage waters along the border (17). The IJC is an example of a collaborative freshwater management approach to the improvement of water quality and other issues that benefits both nations. Other examples of freshwater stewardship within the vein of protected areas include inland fishery reserves, riparian buffer zones (14), integrated connectivity and watershed planning (8), and increased research and monitoring (18). 

The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA), operated by Parks Canada and located near Thunder Bay, Ontario, is the largest FWPA in the world (19) (Figure 4). It has a surface area of 10,000 km2 , covering a third of the Canadian portion of Lake Superior, and is home to 70 species of freshwater fish, including lake herring, walleye, yellow perch, lake whitefish, lake trout and brook trout. Other species include herring gulls, woodland caribou, cormorants, great blue herons, wolves, bald eagles, osprey, peregrine falcons, bears, moose and white pelicans.

Figure 4: Extent of the Lake Superior NMCA. Credit: DFO

The extent of the NMCA includes the lakebed, islands and shorelands. In addition to the ecology, it also houses important historical and geological structures – fossils that date back 2.1 billion years ago, showcasing the beginnings of life on earth, shipwrecks, and indications of human presence going back at least 5000 years by the pictographs found in the park (20). Besides protecting the region’s ecological, geological and historical significance, the NMCA has a high potential for tourism, providing boating, fishing, kayaking and other recreational opportunities (21). 

FWPAs such as the Lake Superior NMCA have a strong potential to conserve falling freshwater biodiversity and protect it from ongoing threats. While they cannot be the only strategy, FWPAs should form a larger, encompassing management approach to safeguard freshwater ecosystems and ensure their life-sustaining functionality.  



References

  1. Combes, Stacey (2003). Protecting Freshwater Ecosystems in the Face of Global Climate Change. Retrieved from “Buying Time: A User Manual” – Land Trust Alliance
  2. Saunders, D. L., Meeuwig, J. J., & Vincent, A. C. (2002). Freshwater Protected Areas: Strategies for Conservation. Conservation Biology, 16(1), 30-41.
  3. Statistics Canada (2018). Environment. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-402-x/2011000/chap/env/env-eng.htm
  4. Environmental Defence (n.d.) Safeguarding Canada’s Water. Retrieved from: https://environmentaldefence.ca/campaign/water/
  5. Weber, Bob for Global News (2019). Canada’s abundance of fresh water under threat from toxic algae, climate change. Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/6190102/fresh-water-canada-climate-change/
  6. Piper, Liza for The Canadian Encyclopedia (2016). Great Slave Lake. Retrieved from: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/great-slave-lake#:~:text=Pollution%20from%20local%20mining%20activities,now%20stored%20in%20underground%20chambers.
  7. Finlayson, C. M., Arthington, A. H., & Pittock, J. (Eds.). (2018). Freshwater ecosystems in protected areas: Conservation and management. Routledge.
  8. Pittock, J., Finlayson, M., Arthington, A. H., Roux, D., Matthews, J. H., Biggs, H., … & Viers, J. (2015). Managing freshwater, river, wetland and estuarine protected areas. Protected area governance and management, 569-608.
  9. Juffe‐Bignoli, D., Harrison, I., Butchart, S. H., Flitcroft, R., Hermoso, V., Jonas, H., … & Van Soesbergen, A. (2016). Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve the performance of protected areas and conserve freshwater biodiversity. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26, 133-151.
  10. Hermoso, V., Abell, R., Linke, S., & Boon, P. (2016). The role of protected areas for freshwater biodiversity conservation: challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26, 3-11.
  11. Pittock, Jamie for WWF (2005). Challenges of freshwater protected areas. Retrieved from: https://wwf.panda.org/?uNewsID=17772
  12. Government of Canada (2020). Internationally important wetlands: Ramsar Convention. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/corporate/international-affairs/partnerships-organizations/important-wetlands-ramsar-convention.html
  13. Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (n.d.). Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Retrieved from: http://www.ramp-alberta.org/management/framework/treaties/ramsar.aspx
  14. Abell, R., Allan, J. D., & Lehner, B. (2007). Unlocking the potential of protected areas for freshwaters. Biological Conservation, 134(1), 48-63.
  15. CHRS (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved from: https://chrs.ca/en/about-chrs
  16. Government of Nunavut (n.d.). Canadian Heritage Rivers. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.nu.ca/environment/information/canadian-heritage-rivers
  17. International Joint Commission (2020). Role of the IJC. Retrieved from: https://www.ijc.org/en/who/role
  18. Acreman, M., Hughes, K. A., Arthington, A. H., Tickner, D., & Duenas, M. A. (2019). Protected areas and freshwater biodiversity: A novel systematic review distils eight lessons for effective conservation. Conservation Letters.
  19. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2017). Spotlight on Marine Protected Areas in Canada. Retrieved from: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/publications/mpaspotlight-pleinsfeuxzpm/index-eng.html
  20. IJC (2015). Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Protects World’s Largest Freshwater Lake. Retrieved from: https://www.ijc.org/en/lake-superior-national-marine-conservation-area-protects-worlds-largest-freshwater-lake
  21. Lemelin, R. H., Koster, R., Woznicka, I., Metansinine, K., & Pelletier, H. (2010). Voyages to Kitchi Gami: the Lake Superior national marine conservation area and regional tourism opportunities in Canada’s first national marine conservation area. Tourism in marine environments, 6(2-3), 101-118.
  22. Canadian Freshwater Alliance (2020). NOAA’s Lake Erie algal bloom forecast proves that governments need to do more work to save the lake. Retrieved from: https://www.freshwateralliance.ca/algae_forecast_2020_media_release_2
  23. MNR (2019). State of Ontario’s Protected Areas Report. Retrieved from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/state-ontarios-protected-areas-report
  24. Canada C3. (n.d.). Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Retrieved from: https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/the-places/queen-maud-gulf-migratory-bird-sanctuary/

Capstone Team H: Engaging Youth Through Parks

The Winter 2021 Cohort of the CPCIL Park Leaders Development Program presented a unique challenge to all participants: connecting entirely in an online space during the peak of a global pandemic. This program typically presents plenty of challenges even when operating as usual: connecting with other park leaders from different parks organizations, all at different points in their careers, and with different worldviews and experiences. This year, none of our cohort ever got to meet each other in person!

How does a Capstone Team of four different people from four different parks organizations unite and find common interests? Fortunately for the Winter 2021 Capstone Team H, we were able to overcome the distance, time zones, and occasional technological issues to focus on one topic that we all care about: youth engagement in our parks and protected spaces.

In March of 2021 during our two-week eResidency, our group was thrown together and had to decide, through nothing but a series of creative team building activities and conversations, what we thought our Capstone Project might focus on. Our Capstone Team has representation from four different agencies: Parks Canada, Sépaq (Québec), Ontario Parks, and Alberta Parks. We spoke a lot about themes that were important to all of us: reciprocity (giving to and receiving value from parks); connecting (and reconnecting) people with parks and protected spaces; youth; and the inspiration we took from some of the amazing guest speakers we saw during the eResidency.

One common theme we were all able to identify from our individual journeys in Parks is that of youth involvement (or lack thereof) in parks and protected spaces. We all agreed that young people – whether they work for our organizations, recreate in our spaces, or just care about nature and the environment – are critical to informing the future direction of our organizations. We know that Canadian youth have valuable opinions about issues related to our parks and protected spaces, such as inclusion, diversity, accessibility, resource management, and visitation. We also know that youth have a desire to be involved in our organizations and spaces, but sometimes encounter barriers that deter them from engaging to the fullest.

From these conversations we developed our Capstone Team idea: a Youth Council for Parks. We developed a “poster” that summarized our vision and what we hoped a Youth Council could achieve.

While the idea of a pan-Canadian Youth Council for Parks’ agencies was appealing, we realized very quickly that the scope of this idea was far too broad for us to tackle over a few months. Our team engaged in several thought-provoking discussions which led us to narrow our focus to a project that kept the core values and purpose of our initial idea but was much more manageable for our timeframe. We developed the following goal statement: Things would be better if parks agencies had a tool to keep youth more engaged with Parks’ goals and values, allowing current, former, and future/prospective youth workers to connect with one another and with mentors or other park agencies, share thoughts and ideas, and participate in meaningful projects and dialogue.

Our Capstone Team had a number of personal observations and theories as to why youth may or may not engage fully with parks’ agencies, as well as many ideas about how to connect and engage youth further, but we wanted to hear these thoughts directly from young people. We finally settled on developing a survey which could be administered to youth to assess youth values, concerns, and ideas surrounding parks and protected areas. With a limited timeline to prepare, launch, and evaluate survey results, our team created a short survey of 11 questions and distributed the survey within our networks. The survey was conducted from July 16 – July 26 and was intended to provide baseline results showing general trends.

When the survey period closed and we got a chance to look at the results, we were blown away by the quality and depth of responses. Respondents generally validated a lot of the initial observations and ideas that our Capstone Team had proposed, but also revealed deeper understanding of park issues and a greater passion for parks than we might have expected.

Despite respondents having self-identified as avid users of parks both personally and professionally, several barriers to their continued or increased enjoyment of parks and protected areas were identified. These included distance and accessibility, cost, time, overcrowding, and mistreatment by visitors. Many respondents are seeking improved job opportunities, career continuity, and improved accessibility to parks and protected area systems. Most respondents also clearly indicated an interest in having more opportunities to engage with other youth in parks and connect about jobs, training, and diverse work experiences.

Though the initial results are limited and not statistically representative, Capstone Team H believes that a survey of this nature could and should be developed further and would be an excellent tool for the CPC, CPCIL, or other parks’ agencies to employ. The data that can be gathered from our youth workers and Canadian youth in general will be invaluable to the future direction of parks’ agencies and ensuring that parks remain an accessible place for all. The youth we surveyed demonstrated thoughtfulness in their responses and proved that the next generation of park leaders are already out there. The survey and resulting data can be utilized to support the development of a community of practice for youth to engage in park leadership, by offering an open safe space for dialogue, collaboration, and to encourage youth continuity and growth.

Capstone F: Pathways to Cultural Competency

This post was written to report the work of Capstone Team F, one of the teams of Park Leaders involved in the Winter 2021 Park Leaders Development Program

Team Members: Sarah Boyle, Brendan Buggeln, Megan Bull, Rachel Goldstein, Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk, Tobi Kiesewalter

The federal and provincial governments of Canada have made commitments to advance reconciliation and renew relationships with Indigenous peoples based on rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. The road towards reconciliation is inevitably complex and difficult, and should involve the participation of all Canadians, on both a personal and professional level.

Every park, marine protected area, and heritage site administered by a parks organization in Canada is located within the traditional and ancestral territory of Indigenous peoples. This creates both an opportunity and a responsibility for parks leaders to advance reconciliation and foster respectful and positive relationships with Indigenous partners and communities.

Capstone Team F acknowledged that many non-Indigenous conservation staff, including at senior levels, have limited knowledge about how to develop cultural competency. While many staff want to learn more, they are often unsure where to start or become overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of resources, especially those designed for staff already experienced in working with Indigenous partners. As high-level discussions of reconciliation within parks continue to advance, there is a risk that the knowledge ‘ceiling’ may leave the ‘floor’ behind unless appropriate tools are available to help all parks employees develop baseline cultural competencies.

Capstone Team F’s goal was to create a collection of reconciliation-focused resources which allowed learners to proceed at their own pace. The resources were curated to allow for a natural progression from foundational learning on Indigenous communities and the impacts of colonialism toward constructive action to advance truth and reconciliation. To achieve this, the Team developed a user- friendly resource package, comprised of a thematically-organized database of resources and a suite of 12 learning pathways, all of which feature an organized set of resources centred around a particular theme. Most pathways are designed for learners with limited background of Canada-Indigenous relations, and each lists a Truth and Reconciliation Commission “Call to Action” which it aims to support.

The database and example pathways are by no means comprehensive, but provide a solid basis from which to begin a learning journey. The resource package may be used by supervisors to coordinate training sessions for staff (though it should never replace in-person training or the hiring of an Indigenous consultant), or it may be used by individual parks leaders for independent learning. The resource package is designed to develop cultural competency to help parks leaders advance reconciliation in their personal lives, in their professional relationships, and in their work. Above all, the resource package is intended to be a springboard for further learning, and to provide individual motivation for advancing reconciliation at a team, departmental or organizational level.

Recommendations for expanding the scope and increasing the impact of this work include:

Housing the database and learning pathways on a learning platform, such as the CPCIL website, where other users can continue to update the content

  • Testers, or site users, could provide feedback to help refine the tool, with the potential to add in a comment section or rating system so people can rate their experience with each resource as they use them.
  • The webpage would ideally be made publicly available, to make it accessible to a broader audience (e.g., teachers, municipal staff, health care workers).
  • Expansion of the database and pathways or the addition of other learning tools by future Capstone teams
  • A number of themes could continue to be explored and have pathways developed for them in the future, including but not limited to:
    • Northern cultural competency
    • Ethical Space
    • Environmental justice
    • Food sovereignty
    • Indigenous story and law
    • Status of women
    • Health
    • Language
    • Removing barriers to access
  • Some agencies, such as Parks Canada and the Federal Public Service, have invested significant resources towards creating in-depth learning websites and training resources, but these resources are not available publicly, even to other civil servants. Consideration should be given to options for providing access to these excellent resources to all civic servants, or the general public.

It is our hope that this Capstone project, and our recommendations for expanding the scope of the work, will contribute to existing efforts to advance understanding of Truth and Reconciliation in the public service. We have aimed to create a simple yet effective introduction to cultural competency, which may be useful to learners of all knowledge levels and spark motivation for a much deeper learning journey.

Resource Spotlight – SAR Autism Canada

Hyun Ho Cho is part of a team of CPCIL Research and Knowledge Gatherers producing content and compiling resources on themes such as inclusion, ecosocial justice, partnerships, conservation, organizational sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, connection to nature, conservation financing, and ecotourism, to support effective and equitable leadership and inclusion in parks and protected areas across Canada. These positions are funded by Canada’s Green Jobs Program and supported by Project Learning Tree.

Search and Rescue (SAR) situations are ones that no one wants to experience, yet these services are welcomed by those who find themselves in these unfortunate situations. But for some, SAR can add an additional level of distress that pushes them further from safety.

Recently I had the opportunity of interviewing Shanyn Silinski, the director of Search and Rescue Autism in Canada. SAR Autism is a program that plans and prepares resources for responders when it comes to people with autism in the context of search and rescue operations. According to Silinski, people with autism can present particular behaviours that may make search and rescue efforts uniquely challenging. Most agencies and organizations both in the private and public sectors may not consider neurodiverse people when it comes to planning infrastructure and services.

Having guided caving and backpacking trips in the mountain parks, I have experienced this capability gap firsthand. Neurodiverse people and how we respond to them is a perspective that I myself had never considered in regards to contingency planning and public safety. In order to make Parks more accessible and inclusive, it is important to have the necessary services and background resources to make the experience of these places safe for all. This means training public safety teams and responders on how to respond to members of our community who are neurodiverse and providing access to preventative education for people who are neurodiverse.

Normal Doesn't Exist

Going into the interview, I will admit my previous background knowledge on autism was somewhat limited. Unfortunately, this is quite common. The large majority of Canadians have a general idea of what autism is, without any actual knowledge of how autistic people perceive the world or how this might affect the way they respond to their environments. As a result, services that cater to neurodiverse people are less available across the board. Oftentimes in the context of parks, neurodiverse individuals and other minority groups are overlooked when it comes to policies and services. This includes public safety. However innocent this oversight may be, this affects many Canadians. When we look at the numbers this excludes quite a large segment of our population. According to Public Health Canada, an estimated 1 in 66 Canadian children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and that’s just the kids. That means approximately 540,000 Canadian citizens may not have access to the services they need in our parks.

Neurodiversity: How Does it Work? Why Does it Matter?

Before my conversation with Shanyn, I didn’t really understand what the word “neurodiversity” meant. In preparation for the interview, like any good millennial, I googled it. Let’s start with a definition. Merriam Webster’s dictionary has 3 definitions of the term neurodiversity. They are as follows:

  1. Individual differences in brain functioning regarded as normal variations within the human population.
  2. The concept that differences in brain functioning within the human population are normal and that brain functioning that is not neurotypical should not be stigmatized.
  3. The inclusion in a group, organization, etc. of people with different types of brain functioning.

Because neurodiversity refers to the variations in brain functioning across the human population as a whole, it refers to a broad range of behaviours and responses that apply to us all at varying degrees – not just people with autism, or other behavioural conditions. Neurodiversity, then, is just as much a part of someone’s identity as their skin colour, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical ability.

If we are to make Canadian parks a more inclusive environment for all, it is imperative then that we make an effort to include individuals who are more neurodiverse, just as we would someone with a physical disability or a minority group. Individuals who are more neurodiverse should have services and amenities available to them on par with the rest of park users; parks leaders should not expect individuals who are more neurodiverse to adapt to our current park’s infrastructure. That may not always be possible. It means our parks or parts of them must change to accept and welcome these individuals.

What About Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts brain development.  The result is that most individuals experience communication problems, difficulty with social interactions and a tendency to repeat specific patterns of behaviour. They may also have a markedly restricted range of activities and interests.
Autism Canada

In our interview, Silinski spoke to how people with autism may perceive the world differently from those of us who are more neurotypical. Specifically, she spoke to how people with autism may require extremely detailed descriptions and instructions in order to complete a task or recognize a situation. For example, individuals with autism may not recognize what being lost looks like without being told specific characteristics of what being lost feels like. Consequently, they may wander even further from where they were last seen. 

Photo courtesy of C Valdez / Unsplash.com

Another example Silinski used was that of the “Hug a Tree” program for children, where individuals were instructed to hug a tree if they got lost. Where a neurotypical person might be able to read into the implied context of an instruction, an autistic person may not. Take, for example, the instruction “hug a tree if you’re lost.” Even without any further context, most people would be able to gather that the reason for this is so that they don’t wander, which makes it easier for responders to locate them. An autistic person, on the other hand, might instead fixate on what constitutes a huggable tree. In most situations, the implied meaning must be explicitly stated in order for them to fully understand the “why” of the instruction.

Additionally, individuals who have autism may bolt unexpectedly from unfamiliar situations or situations with too many stimuli. Oftentimes individuals with autism prefer familiar environments, objects, and people – in short, stimuli that they are accustomed to. This can be problematic in many rescue scenarios that have stimuli like flashing lights, bright colours, loud noises and hazards.

What Can Happen?

According to Silinski, because autistic individuals may respond differently to a crisis or an emergency situation, this can have a number of implications that responders may not be well trained to respond to. Oftentimes they retreat from rescuers or a safe location during a crisis, especially if it is unfamiliar or overstimulating. An example Silinski used was a building fire in the United States where everyone was evacuated safely from the building to a safe secondary holding area. However, one of the individuals who was rescued had autism. When transferred to the safe secondary holding area, they found it overwhelming and overstimulating and ran back to a familiar space, that space being the burning building.

Photo courtesy of Obi Onyeador / Unsplash.com.

Instances like these are called secondary incidents and are easily preventable with training on how to recognize and respond to signs of autism. Oftentimes people with autism will try to return to a place that makes them feel safe or that is familiar to them, even if that place is more dangerous than where they currently are. To an average responder, this may not be common knowledge and thus they may not be able to respond accordingly. Additionally, without understanding how an individual with autism perceives and recognizes safety we cannot make them feel safe in a crisis or emergency.

Inclusion As a Solution

That’s where SAR Autism comes in. SAR Autism aims to educate people with autism and give them back ownership of their own outdoor experiences so that they can recognize and prevent emergency situations. Additionally, they run courses for agencies, responders and volunteers on how to respond when an autistic person is lost or in an emergency situation. For example, having a “first aid kit” for neurodiverse individuals with items that they can stimulate themselves with to feel more at ease once they are found, or search methods that are less overwhelming for neurodiverse individuals and people with autism. By educating people with autism on how to be more proactive about their safety outside and teaching them how to recognize certain situations, like how to recognize when they are lost or what a rescue looks like, SAR Autism can help increase the chances of a successful recovery on both ends of the rescue.

By making spaces inclusive and safe for autistic people we can actually make parks a safer and more inclusive space for all. Silinski posits that by making spaces feel safe and inclusive for people with autism, we also make those spaces inclusive for a diverse range of individuals. Quiet safe spaces can help people healing from trauma, newcomers who want a more authentic experience of their surroundings, and Indigenous peoples who want to reconnect with their traditional lands. In sum, by making these spaces more accessible it does a service to all, with minimal impact to the existing visitor experience.  

What other safety resources do you know of that help achieve inclusivity in parks? Let us know in the comments below!

MPA 101: Human Wildlife Coexistence in Marine Protected Areas

By Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein

Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein are part of a team of CPCIL Research and Knowledge Gatherers producing content and compiling resources on themes such as inclusion, ecosocial justice, partnerships, conservation, organizational sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, connection to nature, conservation financing, and ecotourism, to support effective and equitable leadership and inclusion in parks and protected areas across Canada.

MPA Technical Report by Rachel Goldstein and Hameet Singh.
Click to read the full report.

The purpose of MPAs is to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. The result of protecting these ecosystems is inherently beneficial to humans due to the positive effect MPAs have on ecosystem services (1). At this point in time, we have polluted the ocean, overfished, dredged, and generally mismanaged the world’s greatest natural resource. Sea surface temperatures are rising, species are dying or else being inadvertently introduced where they do not belong (2). Without the ecosystem services offered by marine and coastal environments, the world’s economy will suffer (3). Without mangroves to prevent erosion, people’s homes are being swallowed by the sea (4). Without coral reefs, we’re losing one of the greatest habitats for marine life that is the sole livelihood for many coastal communities around the globe (5). Without coastal wetlands and healthy marine flora, carbon sequestration will diminish (6). We need MPAs to reverse or prevent further damage to coastal and marine environments. Protecting 10% of the earth’s marine environment is not enough to reverse the current state of disaster, but it is a start.

Tourism and Fisheries

Human-wildlife coexistence within MPAs primarily focuses on tourism, extracting natural resources, and stakeholder relationships. In 2018 the output value of the commercial fishing industry in Canada was 3.7 billion CAD (7). Marine tourism in British Columbia alone is worth 3.8 billion CAD annually (8). Over 74,000 Canadians make their living from fishing or fishing-related activities (7). It follows that healthy marine environments are vital to the success of the Canadian economy. A recent study of marine ecotourism on the Pacific coast of Canada determined that just 18% of the total economic value of marine tourism that took place in the area was within MPAs (9). The same study found a positive link between marine tourism and areas of high biodiversity, demonstrating that healthy and intact ecosystems are a key attractant in marine tourism (9).

Figure 1: Whale watching off the coast of Tadoussac, QU. Credit: Hans Bernhard

Furthermore, introducing marine ecotourism to coastal communities often has the benefit of boosting local economy and creating jobs (10). The added benefit of MPAs to ensure sustainable ecotourism has positive repercussions on local communities, including changing attitudes towards marine life. People who may not have otherwise taken an interest in marine conservation find that it is now in their best interest to prioritize conservation (10). 

Though it may seem counterintuitive, restricting fishing activities in MPAs can in fact boost the success of fisheries (11). Poorly managed and overfished fisheries benefit from having MPAs in close proximity, and can they often serve as a substitute for fishery reforms (1). MPAs provide a habitat for fish populations to rebound and thrive, which eventually leads to a spillover effect into the surrounding areas (1). The spillover effect occurs when there is spillover of larvae and adult fish into areas surrounding MPAs, increasing fishing yield and surrounding ecosystem health (1). According to a recent study, adding 5% more MPA coverage of the global ocean will generate 87% of the maximum possible spillover benefit from extra protection and produce 9 million metric tons of extra food per year (1). 

Figure 2: Blue shark, Atlantic Canada. Blue shark populations are in decline due to long line fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia. Credit: Nick Hawkins.

Protecting an additional 5% of the ocean with well-managed, strategically placed MPAs would cost 2-6 billion USD annually to manage, and the spillover effect would produce revenue of 15-19 billion USD annually (1). Another study of the effects of spillover from MPAs found that total catch in the surrounding area began to increase just one year after the MPA was implemented (11). In well-managed fisheries, MPAs may have little to no effect on the total catch, though in some cases can decrease overall catch (1). However, the non-market value of MPAs, such as carbon sequestration and preventing coastal erosion, must be considered in tandem to any financial losses that well-managed fisheries might incur.

MPAs and Stakeholder Involvement

MPAs, as with other conservation management strategies, have a long history of prioritizing conservation over the social impacts that imposing protective measures might have. When MPAs are established with the input and cooperation of all stakeholders, they are more likely to be successful and sustainable (12). In a Canadian context, this relates particularly to Indigenous involvement in the establishment and management of MPAs around the country. In order to properly involve Indigenous stakeholders, MPAs must at minimum demonstrate rights and title (13). This means the introduction of a potential MPA must ensure a traditional use study is completed, the MPA agenda must be linked to any treaty agenda, interim agreements must be negotiated while the long process of establishing an MPA is being completed, and finally, the MPA should be co-managed or have Indigenous driven conservation (13).
These recommendations are included in the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) report on collaboration with First Nations on MPAs in British Columbia, though it is far from an exhaustive list of the vital role that Indigenous knowledge and stakeholders play in the success of MPAs. Additionally, MPAs with no-take zones or fully protected areas must make exceptions for food, social, and ceremonial harvesting in terms of rights-based usage for Indigenous people (13).

Costs and Benefits of MPAs

The primary costs associated with MPAs are establishing and operating an MPA and the opportunity cost to commercial fisheries and other industries (6). Primary benefits include improving ecosystem health, provision of food and other materials for subsistence and commercial use, tourism and recreation, coastal protection, restoring biodiversity, and carbon sequestration (6). The costs of MPAs and benefits such as tourism revenue are easily quantifiable, however, many benefits such as restoring biodiversity and carbon sequestration have a myriad of financial benefits but have non-market value. It is particularly difficult to quantify benefits to the open ocean, arctic regions, and temperature regions, due to limited research. These areas encompass the majority of Canadian MPAs (12). Regardless, studies show that there is a strong relationship between higher levels of protection within an MPA and increased financial gain (6). Proper management of MPAs is also a significant factor in the financial success of an MPA. Improper management can disrupt the socio-economic stability of coastal communities by removing the benefits of fisheries, and through poor management, failing to improve ecosystem health and produce a spillover effect (12). It is therefore imperative that MPAs are continuously supported and well-managed after they are established.

When implemented and managed properly, MPAs help facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and wildlife (14). They also offer nature-based solutions to the growing climate crisis (14). Continuing to support the implementation of MPAs across Canada, in sensitive habitats as well as open ocean can mitigate negative impacts of human pressures to marine and coastal environments and assist in the effort to ensure these vital ecosystems remain intact (14).

References

  1. Combes, Stacey (2003). Protecting Freshwater Ecosystems in the Face of Global Climate Change. Retrieved from “Buying Time: A User Manual” – Land Trust Alliance
  2. Saunders, D. L., Meeuwig, J. J., & Vincent, A. C. (2002). Freshwater Protected Areas: Strategies for Conservation. Conservation Biology, 16(1), 30-41.
  3. Statistics Canada (2018). Environment. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-402-x/2011000/chap/env/env-eng.htm
  4. Environmental Defence (n.d.) Safeguarding Canada’s Water. Retrieved from: https://environmentaldefence.ca/campaign/water/
  5. Weber, Bob for Global News (2019). Canada’s abundance of fresh water under threat from toxic algae, climate change. Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/6190102/fresh-water-canada-climate-change/
  6. Piper, Liza for The Canadian Encyclopedia (2016). Great Slave Lake. Retrieved from: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/great-slave-lake#:~:text=Pollution%20from%20local%20mining%20activities,now%20stored%20in%20underground%20chambers.
  7. Finlayson, C. M., Arthington, A. H., & Pittock, J. (Eds.). (2018). Freshwater ecosystems in protected areas: Conservation and management. Routledge.
  8. Pittock, J., Finlayson, M., Arthington, A. H., Roux, D., Matthews, J. H., Biggs, H., … & Viers, J. (2015). Managing freshwater, river, wetland and estuarine protected areas. Protected area governance and management, 569-608.
  9. Juffe‐Bignoli, D., Harrison, I., Butchart, S. H., Flitcroft, R., Hermoso, V., Jonas, H., … & Van Soesbergen, A. (2016). Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve the performance of protected areas and conserve freshwater biodiversity. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26, 133-151.
  10. Hermoso, V., Abell, R., Linke, S., & Boon, P. (2016). The role of protected areas for freshwater biodiversity conservation: challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26, 3-11.
  11. Pittock, Jamie for WWF (2005). Challenges of freshwater protected areas. Retrieved from: https://wwf.panda.org/?uNewsID=17772
  12. Government of Canada (2020). Internationally important wetlands: Ramsar Convention. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/corporate/international-affairs/partnerships-organizations/important-wetlands-ramsar-convention.html
  13. Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (n.d.). Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Retrieved from: http://www.ramp-alberta.org/management/framework/treaties/ramsar.aspx
  14. Abell, R., Allan, J. D., & Lehner, B. (2007). Unlocking the potential of protected areas for freshwaters. Biological Conservation, 134(1), 48-63.
  15. CHRS (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved from: https://chrs.ca/en/about-chrs
  16. Government of Nunavut (n.d.). Canadian Heritage Rivers. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.nu.ca/environment/information/canadian-heritage-rivers
  17. International Joint Commission (2020). Role of the IJC. Retrieved from: https://www.ijc.org/en/who/role
  18. Acreman, M., Hughes, K. A., Arthington, A. H., Tickner, D., & Duenas, M. A. (2019). Protected areas and freshwater biodiversity: A novel systematic review distils eight lessons for effective conservation. Conservation Letters.
  19. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2017). Spotlight on Marine Protected Areas in Canada. Retrieved from: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/publications/mpaspotlight-pleinsfeuxzpm/index-eng.html
  20. IJC (2015). Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Protects World’s Largest Freshwater Lake. Retrieved from: https://www.ijc.org/en/lake-superior-national-marine-conservation-area-protects-worlds-largest-freshwater-lake
  21. Lemelin, R. H., Koster, R., Woznicka, I., Metansinine, K., & Pelletier, H. (2010). Voyages to Kitchi Gami: the Lake Superior national marine conservation area and regional tourism opportunities in Canada’s first national marine conservation area. Tourism in marine environments, 6(2-3), 101-118.
  22. Canadian Freshwater Alliance (2020). NOAA’s Lake Erie algal bloom forecast proves that governments need to do more work to save the lake. Retrieved from: https://www.freshwateralliance.ca/algae_forecast_2020_media_release_2
  23. MNR (2019). State of Ontario’s Protected Areas Report. Retrieved from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/state-ontarios-protected-areas-report
  24. Canada C3. (n.d.). Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Retrieved from: https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/the-places/queen-maud-gulf-migratory-bird-sanctuary/

MPA 101: Introduction to Marine Protected Areas

By Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein

Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein are part of a team of CPCIL Research and Knowledge Gatherers producing content and compiling resources on themes such as inclusion, ecosocial justice, partnerships, conservation, organizational sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, connection to nature, conservation financing, and ecotourism, to support effective and equitable leadership and inclusion in parks and protected areas across Canada.

This technical report has been created in response to Canada’s commitment to the marine conservation targets set out by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) to protect 10% of its coastal and marine areas by 2020. Here we will outline Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in a Canadian context, the ecology of MPAs, freshwater protected areas, human-wildlife coexistence, MPA networks, and MPA management tools.

MPA Technical Report by Rachel Goldstein and Hameet Singh.
Click to read the full report.

What is a Marine Protected Area and Why do We Need Them?

MPAs are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “any area of intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment” (1). The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth and provides essential ecosystem services and yet only 7.56% of the ocean is protected and 2.05% is no-take zones, meaning industries such as commercial fishing, mining, drilling, or other extractive activities are not permitted (2). Recent years have seen an increased push for ocean conservation, partly due to the negative impact of declining ocean health on ecosystem services. It is becoming more evident that human impact not only has a deleterious effect on the terrestrial environment, but also on the marine environment. Though ocean conservation poses different challenges, such as the difficulty of in situ research in a marine context and imposing boundaries on a fluid environment, the decline in ocean health has promoted global movement towards improving ocean conservation. 

In 2010, the UN CBD set out 20 targets, known as the Aichi Targets, in their strategic plan for 2011-2020 (3). The targets are aimed at improving global biodiversity, including improving marine health. Target 11 of the strategic plan states:

“By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.”

Figure 1: Map of MPAs and OECMs across the globe. Credit: INEP-WCMC and IUCN (2)

In the years following, many countries, including Canada, have worked to meet the goal of increasing marine protection by establishing MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). For an introduction to MPAs on a global scale, refer to CPCIL’s blog post, “Why MPAs are the World’s Underwater Parks and Aquatic Lifeline.

Canada's Approach to MPAS

MPAs are essential for conserving marine environments and ecosystem services. In 2015, Canada committed to reaching Aichi Target 11 by 2020 and in 2016, the Canadian government developed a five-pronged approach to achieving this goal (4):

  1. Complete established processes for MPAs already underway 
  2. Establish new, large MPAs in offshore areas
  3. Target areas that are under pressure from human activity
  4. Advance other effective area-based conservation measures
  5. Establish MPAs faster and more effectively

By following the above plan and adhering to standards set by the IUCN and the CBD, Canada has achieved its goal. With the longest coastline in the world and a vast expanse of marine ecosystems, protecting 10% is not insignificant. Currently, Canada has 14 established MPAs, which make up 6% of Canada’s coastal and marine environments, with the additional 4% of protected coastal and marine environment being OECMs.

Applying IUCN Standards to Canadian MPAs

In order for a country to meet Aichi Target 11, marine and coastal areas must meet the IUCN Global Conservation Standards to MPAs. According to the IUCN, “the overriding purpose of a system of protected areas is to increase the effectiveness of in situ biodiversity conservation” (5). 

IUCN’s essential characteristics of an MPA (6):

  1. Conservation focused with nature as the priority
  2. Defined goals and objectives which reflect these conservation values
  3. Suitable size, location, and design that deliver the conservation values
  4. Defined and fairly agreed boundary
  5. Management plan or equivalent, which addresses the need for conservation of the MPA’s major values, and achievement of its social and economic goals and objectives
  6. Resources and capacity to effectively implement the MPA

MPAs differ in their level of protection, across and even within an MPA. They range from fully protected, no-take zones to multiple use areas. Areas with the highest protection generally have greater economic, social, and ecological benefits (7). Beyond the IUCN’s essential characteristics for MPAs, they have outlined “Green List Standards”, which are more prescriptive in order to establish a baseline for conservation and protection standards. The Green List Standards focus on good governance, sound planning and design, effective management, and conservation outcomes, all of which contribute to the overall success of an MPA (6). 

Canada has made great strides towards achieving the Green List Standards in the past few years. For example, in 2019, the Canadian government mandated that industrial activities, including offshore oil and gas, are prohibited in MPAs, though they are permitted on a case-by-case basis in OECMs. Additionally, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has outlined protection standards for MPAs in Canada and has published reports regarding MPA collaboration with First Nations along Canada’s Pacific Coast (8). Although Canada still has far to go to meet the IUCN’s Green List Standard, marine conservation over the past decade has vastly improved within the country and continues in a positive direction.

References

  1. Kelleher, G. (1999). Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas. Retrieved from: https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/import/downloads/mpaguid.pdf
  2. Protected Planet. (2020). Marine Protected Areas. Retrieved from: https://www.protectedplanet.net/en/thematic-areas/marine-protected-areas
  3. Convention on Biological Diversity. (n.d.). Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Retrieved from: https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/
  4. Schram, C., Ladell, K., Mitchell, J., & Chute, C. (2019). From one to ten: Canada’s approach to achieving marine conservation targets. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 29(S2), 170–180. 
  5. Dudley, N. (2008). Guidelines for applying protected area management categories. In Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines (Vol. 21). https://doi.org/10.1177/001312458001200408
  6. IUCN WCPA. (2018). Applying IUCN’s Global Conservation Standards to Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Retrieved from: https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/content/documents/applying_mpa_global_standards_v120218_nk_v2.pdf
  7. Cabral, R. B., Bradley, D., Mayorga, J., Goodell, W., Friedlander, A. M., Sala, E., Costello, C., & Gaines, S. D. (2020). A global network of marine protected areas for food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(45), 28134 – 28139. 
  8. Gardner, J. (2009). First Nations and Marine Protected Areas Summary Report: An introduction to First Nations Rights, Concerns and Interests Related to MPAs on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Retrieved from: http://137.122.145.24/bulletinBoard/First%20Nations%20and%20MPAs%20Summary%20Report%20-%20Final%20Oct%202009.pdf

MPA 101: Marine Protected Area Management Tools

By Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein

Hameet Singh and Rachel Goldstein are part of a team of CPCIL Research and Knowledge Gatherers producing content and compiling resources on themes such as inclusion, ecosocial justice, partnerships, conservation, organizational sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, connection to nature, conservation financing, and ecotourism, to support effective and equitable leadership and inclusion in parks and protected areas across Canada.

MPA Technical Report by Rachel Goldstein and Hameet Singh.
Click to read the full report.

After an MPA has been established, there is a myriad of tools that practitioners can employ in order to assess its effectiveness and success rate. They can also be used in the planning and development phases in delineating potential areas that are most viable wherein an MPA can be implemented. Incorporating these measures can provide a strong evaluation of existing MPAs, and also help define ecologically significant areas for future MPAs. Some of these include geographic information systems (GIS), marine spatial planning/zoning, remote sensing, satellite and aerial photography, radar imagery, acoustic data collection and mathematical modelling. Selected tools are described below in detail. 

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is defined as the process of detecting a region’s physical characteristics through the measurement of reflected and emitted radiation from a satellite or aircraft (1). This technology has been employed to track the extent of forest fires, cloud cover for weather analysis, and most recently, mapping the topography of the ocean and its associated areas. It is this latter application that has been useful in the planning and monitoring of MPAs and the species and habitats that they safeguard. It has been advocated as a key tool in supporting the designation, mapping and monitoring protected areas and has proven to provide standardized and credible information on the long-term trends of ecosystem functionality on worldwide scales (2). For instance, remote sensing was instrumental in assessing the health of mangrove ecosystems in Kenya’s Kiunga MPA (3). In this case, the digitized information proved to be useful for creating accurate maps of mangrove vegetation cover, assessing species distribution and changes over time, and investigating linkages with other ecosystems. Remote sensing used in this study found that while certain mangrove species are less abundant than others and may require additional conservation efforts, the overall ecosystem had a high rate of productivity and regeneration.

Figure 1: Remote sensing imagery which can be using for marine spatial planning applications. Credit: Suryan et al

It is also theorized that as MPAs are increasingly situated in the open ocean, remote sensing will be instrumental in designating and monitoring large and expansive areas. Another study examined the existence of chlorophyll clusters (FCPI) from northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Baja California, Mexico as an indication of phytoplankton production and seabird abundance, and to determine biological hotspots as potential sites for MPA implementation (4) (Figure 1). It has been found that monitoring primary production has a high probability to inform marine species distribution and in turn, improve MPA establishment (2). Overall, remote sensing has the potential to greatly decrease marine biodiversity losses and should be used as a tool to plan, implement and monitor MPAs. 

Geographic Information Systems

GIS is a software framework used to capture, collect, store and display spatial data related to the Earth’s surface (5). It incorporates various types of geographic data and visualizes it into maps and 3D-imaging, providing better insights and revealing patters and relationships (6). It has been used for urban planning, environmental impact analysis, navigation, natural disaster management, and most recently, in response to a global pandemic (7). In the realm of MPAs, GIS has been employed to evaluate their efficacy and ascertain if they indeed restore ecological and health.

Figure 2: Indigenous identification of features in the seascape, represented as layers in GIS. Credit: Aswani and Lauer

Applying GIS technology, a study in Hawaii found that fish biomass was 2.6 times greater in its MPA compared to unprotected areas and that apex predator species were observed to be more plentiful and larger in the MPAs, illustrating their effectiveness in conserving fish populations (8). Other research shows that GIS can be used to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, artisanal fishing and biophysical data to support MPA site selection and design (10) (Figure 2). This study showed that the combination of geospatial tools, fieldwork, and social and natural science methods can aid in the planning phases of an MPA. Use of GIS technology to map marine resources for marine conservation planning purposes is steadily growing as a useful resource.

Acoustic Data Collection

Acoustical oceanography is described as obtaining information concerning the ocean (physical, biological, geological, chemical, etc.) using acoustic measurements (10). In the simplest terms, certain instruments (hydrophones, etc.) are used to produce sound waves and transmit them into the water. The returning sound waves are then measured for parameters and used to obtain data (11). In other instances, a sample population of a species may be tagged with acoustic transmitters to better understand their behaviours, range and ecological niche (12) (Figure 3). In the context of MPAs, acoustic data collection has proven to be useful to understand the habitat uses of keystone species in order to better delineate the boundaries of an MPA. In a 2016 study, a larger and more encompassing MPA was adopted by the Seychelles government after researchers used acoustic analysis to determine the ocean space use of shark and sea turtle species.

Figure 3: Graphic depicting how marine acoustic tagging works Credit: GLATOS

A sample population of selected species was tagged with acoustic transmitters, which was used for marine habitat mapping and disclosed that certain species had a more extensive distribution and range than previously thought. Therefore, redefining MPA peripheries to better align with habitat use significantly increased the efficacy of the MPA. Acoustic technology has also been used to monitor the marine environment in Canada. In a study conducted at the SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount MPA near the coast of British Columbia, acoustic data revealed that vessel traffic in the region impacting ambient sound levels could have future implications for MPA management (13).

References

  1. USGS (n.d.). What is remote sensing and what is it used for? Retrieved from: https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-remote-sensing-and-what-it-used?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products
  2. Kachelriess, D., Wegmann, M., Gollock, M., & Pettorelli, N. (2014). The application of remote sensing for marine protected area management. Ecological Indicators, 36, 169-177.
  3. Kairo, J. G., Kivyatu, B., & Koedam, N. (2002). Application of remote sensing and GIS in the management of mangrove forests within and adjacent to Kiunga Marine Protected Area, Lamu, Kenya. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 4(2), 153-166.
  4. Oregon State University (2021). Remote sensing & biological hotspots. Retrieved from: https://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/research-labs/seabird-oceanography-lab/research/foraging-ecology-oceanography/use-remote-sensing-data-identify-biological-hotspots
  5. National Geographic (2017). GIS (Geographic Information System). Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/geographic-information-system-gis/
  6. ESRI (n.d.). What is GIS?. Retrieved from: https://www.esri.com/en-us/what-is-gis/overview
  7. Pratt, Monica for ESRI (2020). GIS Systems Lead Response to COVID-19. Retrieved from: https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/arcuser/gis-systems-lead-response-to-covid-19/
  8. Friedlander, A. M., Brown, E. K., & Monaco, M. E. (2007). Coupling ecology and GIS to evaluate efficacy of marine protected areas in Hawaii. Ecological Applications, 17(3), 715-730.
  9. Aswani, S., & Lauer, M. (2006). Incorporating fishermen’s local knowledge and behavior into geographical information systems (GIS) for designing marine protected areas in Oceania. Human Organization, 81-102.
  10. Acoustical Society of America (n.d.). Acoustical Oceanography. Retrieved from: https://asastudents.org/acoustical-oceanography/
  11. NOAA (2015). Understanding Ocean Acoustics. Retrieve from: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/sound01/background/acoustics/acoustics.html
  12. GLATOS (n.d.). Acoustic Telemetry. Retrieved from: https://glatos.glos.us/Acoustic
  13. Allen, A. S., Yurk, H., Vagle, S., Pilkington, J., & Canessa, R. (2018). The underwater acoustic environment at SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area: Characterizing vessel traffic and associated noise using satellite AIS and acoustic datasets. Marine pollution bulletin, 128, 82-88.
  14. Suryan, R. M., Santora, J. A., & Sydeman, W. J. (2012). New approach for using remotely sensed chlorophyll a to identify seabird hotspots. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 451, 213-225.
  15.