An Analysis of Habitat Conservation in National Marine Sanctuaries: A Case Study of the Channel Islands, Flower Garden Banks, and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuaries
This masters project evaluates the progress the NMSP has made towards achieving its mandate of resource protection, focusing on habitat conservation. Research was undertaken to investigate the Program as a whole, in addition to habitat protection in three individual sanctuaries. Inquiries focused on four key conservation project components: goals and objectives; science and monitoring; management tools; and, performance measures. An evaluation method already in use by the NMSP was modified to assess habitat conservation at the program and the individual site levels based on the four components.
Results indicate that while the Program does have habitat conservation as a working goal, methods implemented to better guide individual sanctuaries in achieving this goal are recent. As a consequence, the new program measures are still being incorporated into each sanctuary management structure. Time will therefore be required for the program’s achievements to be recognized at the site level. The results of the case studies indicate varying degrees of habitat conservation per site. While one site was able to facilitate and regulate a good measure of protection, another study essentially failed on both levels and continual degradation of the habitat in this region readily occurs. A multitude of factors influence the performance of each sanctuary and ultimately, the sanctuary is only as good as the sum of its many parts.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:habitat conservation national marine sanctuaries channel islands sanctuary flower garden banks stellwagen bank act
Date of Publication:04/23/2008