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Working Together to Protect and Monitor the Ocean

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Date: August 3, 2007
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Biologist Satie Airamé, with the University of California, Santa Barbara, will present a brief history of marine protected areas (MPAs) in California at the August “From Shore to Sea” lecture. Airamé will describe the monitoring efforts underway to understand ecological changes following the establishment of the Channel Islands MPA network in 2003.

Airamé and other scientists are working towards an important milestone approaching in 2008 when the California Fish and Game Commission will release the results of a five-year review of monitoring data which evaluates the effectiveness of the Channel Islands MPAs. This evaluation will inform future decisions about how to design MPAs to meet the goals of California’s Marine Life Protection Act.

Although the network of MPAs in the Channel Islands was established only recently, MPAs have been used for decades to protect marine habitats in other places. Airamé will share observations made from monitoring MPAs worldwide including the results of a recent analysis of 125 scientific studies of MPAs. This global analysis demonstrates that, on average, protection in marine reserves leads to increases in biomass, density, size and diversity of marine animals.

Since 2002 Airamé has served as a marine policy coordinator for PISCO at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She shares research gathered by PISCO scientists to support science-based policy and management. From 1999 to 2004 Airamé was a scientific advisor for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, where she coordinated a team of scientists involved in MPA design for the Channel Islands.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in an effort to further the understanding of research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2007, at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum at 113 Harbor Way in Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, August 15, 2007, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Santa Barbara Island live-forever                 timhaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are often called the "North American Galapagos" because they are home to over 150 endemic or unique species.