[MARMAM] Paper Release: New framework reveals gaps in U.S. ocean biodiversity protection

Emily Knight eknight at pewtrusts.org
Mon Jan 22 10:25:52 PST 2024

In a new paper in One Earth, a Task Force of leading experts known as Marine Biodiversity Dialogues<https://www.lenfestocean.org/en/research-projects/marine-biodiversity-dialogues-task-force-i>, propose a scientific framework to (1) assess the distribution and abundance of marine biodiversity in U.S. waters both inside and outside existing protections; and (2) applied it to waters from the near coast to the borders of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

  *   The paper<https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(23)00598-5> (Gignoux-Wolfsohn et al., 2023)
  *   Fact Sheet<https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/hqa4kdg2n8mw7tpsgi0th/Fact-Sheet_Assessing-US-Marine-Biodiversity_Final.pdf?rlkey=n6437oxriqh9yjmwj78vjmf33&dl=0>
  *   Blog<https://www.lenfestocean.org/en/news-and-publications/cross-currents/2024/marine-biodiversity-dialogues-task-force-i-releases-new-framework>
  *   Ocean Biodiversity Summit Livestream<https://science.si.edu/in-the-ocean/summit-on-ocean-biodiversity/> (Tuesday, January 23, 1pm ET)
Why This Matters
Marine biodiversity globally is in crisis. Climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction and other extractive industries are causing species losses at an alarming rate. Increasingly, scientists, managers, and governments are taking steps to protect marine life. But this requires a network of protected areas that are ecologically representative, foster connectivity between habitats, and consider the dynamic nature of coastal and marine habitats.
The framework is the basis by which managers and communities can ground regional and local actions in an EEZ-wide knowledge of marine biodiversity distribution. It is crucial to fulfilling the president's commitment to protect 30% of land and waters by 2030, implementing the White House Ocean Climate Action and National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy, and can inform existing mandates that involve area-based management, from the National Marine Sanctuaries Act to the Marine Mammal Protection and the Endangered Species Act.
Key Author Contacts

  *   J. Emmett Duffy, Smithsonian Institution, DuffyE at si.edu<mailto:DuffyE at si.edu>
  *   Sarah Gignoux-Wolfsohn, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Sarah_GignouxWolfsohn at uml.edu<mailto:Sarah_GignouxWolfsohn at uml.edu>
Lenfest Contacts

  *   Emily Knight, Lenfest Ocean Program, eknight at pewtrusts.org<mailto:eknight at pewtrusts.org>
  *   Jason Landrum, Lenfest Ocean Program, jlandrum at pewtrusts.org<mailto:jlandrum at pewtrusts.org>
Please share this widely with your networks, and don't hesitate to reach out for any questions and/or to further discuss this research. Apologies for any cross-postings.

Emily Knight
Manager, Lenfest Ocean Program
901 E Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20004

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