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Chapter 8: Marine and Freshwater Conservation Planning: From Representation to Persistence

BOOK EXCERPT: Most of the science and practice of conservation planning has focused on terrestrial environments (Vance-Borland et al. 2008), just as this book has, with similarly threatened marine and freshwater systems receiving less attention. In contrast to land, anthropogenic changes to marine and freshwater systems are less easily observed and, until recently, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” aptly applied to the conservation of these systems. As human impacts on marine and freshwater systems have become increasingly apparent (e.g., fisheries collapses), there has been an increasing realization that these ecosystems require protection, better resource management, and conservation (Nel et al. 2009; Sala and Knowlton 2006). The goals of this chapter are to provide an overview of established good practices in marine and freshwater conservation planning, highlight distinctive characteristics of marine and freshwater systems important for their conservation, and place these systems in the broader framework of conservation planning (Margules and Pressey 2000; Pressey and Bottrill 2009). We highlight elements of marine and freshwater systems that differ both from each other and from terrestrial systems, and discuss how these differences influence approaches to planning. Also, despite some differences between aquatic and terrestrial systems, many of the principles, lessons, tools, and techniques for terrestrial conservation planning described in other chapters of this book can be adapted to marine and freshwater systems. We also pinpoint some emerging and cutting-edge conservation issues and practices...Challenges currently being researched include improving the link between planning and implementation, better integrating considerations of social variables and ecosystem services into the planning process (see Chan et al., chapter 2), addressing climate change (see Bachelet, chapter 13), improving planning for multiple management objectives and actions incorporating ecological modeling into spatially explicit conservation planning (Christensen et al. 2009), and planning with uncertainty.


Dr Natalie Ban, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley
Atherton Tablelands Sustainable Environment Trust,
ARC Research Network for Earth System Science (ARCNESS),
James Cook University
. TALK to the Author
Tools: ConsPlan - Conservation plan optimization

Morena Mills - JCU PhD Student
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Professor Bob Pressey
Program 6: Conservation Planning for a Sustainable Future
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
Formerly Principal Research Scientist,
New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service

Simon Linke
The University of Queensland,
The Applied Environmental Decision Analysis Centre,
The Ecology Centre, Brisbane,
QLD 4072, Australia
TALK to the Author

Jorge Alvarez Romero, Ph.D. Candidate

Debora de Freitas, PhD
Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security
University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia




ArcGIS.com INTERACTIVE MAPS & Tools of Marine & Aquatic (click to pan & zoom)

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Ocean Basemap : This map is designed to be used as a basemap by marine GIS professionals and as a reference map by anyone interested in ocean data. The base map includes bathymetry, marine water body names, undersea feature names, and derived depth values in meters. Land features include administrative boundaries, cities, inland waters, roads, overlaid on land cover and shaded relief imagery.



U.S. Offshore Protected Habitats: This map contains the protected habitats in U.S. offshore waters, including:
Marine Sanctuaries
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)
Habitats of Particular Concern (subsets of EFH)
Critical Habitats

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National Wetlands Inventory - Wetlands Mapper: The National Wetlands Inventory Program (NWI) has been producing wetland maps and geospatial wetland data for the United States since the mid-1970s. The focus on the program has been on two fronts: 1) map or digital database preparation and delivery to the public, and 2) projecting and reporting on national wetland trends using a probability-based sampling design. The status of mapping has been made available through various media throughout the program's 30-year history (e.g., state atlases, regional status maps, and now through the internet via the Wetlands Mapper online tool)


Tracking of Blue Sharks in the South Atlantic Ocean: Map of blue shark movements in the South Atlantic

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