Marine Future Proofing Project – Ocean Frontier Institute
Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks offer an important strategy that forms a growing aspect of ocean governance in Canada and elsewhere. MPAs are often designed explicitly to protect biodiversity, sustain or enhance productivity and critical habitat, maintain other functions and ocean health, and provide insurance against sudden or drastic changes in exploited resources. The planning process, however, is not designed to incorporate ongoing and future changes in environmental conditions. This project aims to complement existing planning efforts to help ‘future-proof’ MPA networks and other spatial management tools such as fisheries closures and critical habitat designations. This project will integrate observational data on shifting habitats and ecosystems with real-time remote sensing, animal movement, and vessel tracking data to understand and model changes in ocean conditions, biological resources and human use patterns relevant to MPAs.