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Science, Conservation, and National Parks$
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Steven R. Beissinger, David D. Ackerly, Holly Doremus, and Gary E. Machlis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226422954

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423142.001.0001

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Seas the Day: A Bluer, Saltier Second Century for American Parks

Seas the Day: A Bluer, Saltier Second Century for American Parks

Chapter:
(p.17) Two Seas the Day: A Bluer, Saltier Second Century for American Parks
Source:
Science, Conservation, and National Parks
Author(s):

Kirsten Grorud-Colvert

Jane Lubchenco

Allison K. Barner

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226423142.003.0002

We propose an additional, bold focus for the centennial of the US National Park Service: to make protection of special places in the ocean as important as it has been on land. This vision reflects the fact that 55% of the United States by area is in the ocean, but only 15% of the US ocean is strongly protected. Marine protected areas vary greatly in extractive activities permitted, ranging from fully protected marine reserves that allow no destructive activities to multiple use areas that are zoned to permit different kinds of extractive uses. Ocean protected areas have grown rapidly from 0.08% of the global ocean coverage a decade ago to 1.8% today. Little of the open ocean is protected because the legal tools for creating protected areas reside within individual countries. Using top-down authorities have led to many of our most beloved large, blue parks, but most existing coastal protected areas are small and were developed from combined efforts of diverse stakeholders. We discuss pathways to ocean protection in the United States, review the scientific lessons learned over the past century of park management, and propose a focus on “blue” to complement the first century’s focus on “green” protected areas.

Keywords:   blue parks, marine protected areas, marine reserves, national parks, ocean protection

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