New web site on US MPAs - MPA.GOV

Roger B Griffis Roger.B.Griffis at
Thu Dec 21 16:50:21 EST 2000

**  Please distribute  **

Announcing new web site:
Marine Protected Areas of the United States

The United States Department of Commerce and the Department of the
Interior are pleased to announce the first version of a new web site on
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the United States.  The web address is

MPA.GOV is designed to provide information, facilitate partnerships,
help identify key needs and challenges, and encourage public
participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of marine
protected areas.

In May, 2000, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the
Interior were directed by President Clinton (Executive Order 13158) to
establish and jointly manage a website to share information, tools and
strategies on MPAs, and provide access to a complete list of MPAs in
U.S. waters.  The President also directed federal agencies to work
closely with local, state, territorial, tribal and other stakeholders to
strengthen existing MPAs and build a scientifically-based, comprehensive
national system of MPAs.

The first version of MPA.GOV provides a variety of services such as (1)
general information on the role of MPAs ocean and coastal management,
(2) a virtual library of references on MPAs, and (3) the beginnings of a
comprehensive inventory of U.S. marine protected areas.  The site will
be updated as new material is available, and will provide reports on
progress towards a building a comprehensive system of marine protected

We hope the site is useful to a broad range of interests, from educators
and students to managers, scientists, policy makers, fishermen, boaters
and other users of ocean and coastal resources.  We welcome suggestions
on how to improve the web site.

Public input is also requested on two issues related to completing a
list of all U.S. MPAs (see section on MPA Inventory).  The issues are
(1) the proposed criteria for defining an MPA, and (2) the proposed
data/information to be provided on each MPA.  Our goal is to develop a
list of U.S. MPAs that is a valuable resource and tool for managers,
users, the public and others.  Input is requested on what kind of
information on each MPA site to include in the database, and how to
clearly interpret the definition of MPAs provided in the Executive

Table of Contents for MPA.GOV:

What is a Marine Protected Area?
What MPAs Provide the Nation.
The Challenges
The National MPA Initiative
An Inventory of MPAs
The MPA Library
The MPA Center
The MPA Advisory Committee
Agency Progress Reports

For more information please contact:

Roger Griffis
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
P: 202-482-5034
F: 202-501-3024
email: roger.b.griffis at

- or -

Ashley Simons
Department of the Interior
P: 202-208-6211
email:  Ashley_Simons at
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