Reports, Tools, and Maps

Since 1999, Canada, Mexico and the United States have been working together through NAMPAN to develop reports, tools and maps with a goal to enhance and strengthen biodiversity conservation in critical marine habitats throughout North American MPAs and facilitate information exchange among experts. More recently, this collaboration has focused on designing and managing resilient MPA networks in a changing climate, and creating tools for managers to assess the vulnerabilities of their MPAs and develop adaptation strategies.

North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Anon. North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2017. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/11733-north-american-marine-protected-area-rapid-vulnerability-assessment-tool
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool was created to help marine protected area managers evaluate the implications of climate change for the habitats of their sites. This tool has three parts (a user guide, a set of blank worksheets, and a booklet containing sample completed worksheets) that are available as downloadable PDFs. The blank worksheets are in a dynamic PDF format so that users can easily fill, save and share their completed worksheets. The User Guide and sample worksheets provide the narrative explanation of how to use the tool, while the blank worksheets are the hands-on component. Together, they comprise a tool that can help marine protected area managers conduct a rapid vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development process.

Marine Ecoregions Level III

Anon. Marine Ecoregions Level III. 2009 .
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Map

These marine ecoregions are areas of general similarity in terms of physiographic, oceanographic and biological characteristics, which fall within the Exclusive Economic Zones of the North American countries.

These marine ecoregions are constructed as a spatial framework with three nested levels.

The Level I marine ecoregions displayed in this map capture ecosystem differences at the largest scale by grouping together large water masses and currents, enclosed seas, and regions of coherent sea surface temperature or ice cover.

The seaward boundaries of the marine ecoregions as mapped are approximate and do not represent the seaward boundaries of the ecoregions or an exact boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zones of the three countries.

Marine Ecoregions Level II

Anon. Marine Ecoregions Level II. 2009 .
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Map

These marine ecoregions are areas of general similarity in terms of physiographic, oceanographic and biological characteristics, which fall within the Exclusive Economic Zones of the North American countries.

These marine ecoregions are constructed as a spatial framework with three nested levels.

The Level I marine ecoregions displayed in this map capture ecosystem differences at the largest scale by grouping together large water masses and currents, enclosed seas, and regions of coherent sea surface temperature or ice cover.

The seaward boundaries of the marine ecoregions as mapped are approximate and do not represent the seaward boundaries of the ecoregions or an exact boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zones of the three countries.

Marine Ecoregions Level I

Anon. Marine Ecoregions Level I. 2009 .
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Map

These marine ecoregions are areas of general similarity in terms of physiographic, oceanographic and biological characteristics, which fall within the Exclusive Economic Zones of the North American countries.

These marine ecoregions are constructed as a spatial framework with three nested levels.

The Level I marine ecoregions displayed in this map capture ecosystem differences at the largest scale by grouping together large water masses and currents, enclosed seas, and regions of coherent sea surface temperature or ice cover.

The seaward boundaries of the marine ecoregions as mapped are approximate and do not represent the seaward boundaries of the ecoregions or an exact boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zones of the three countries.

North America's Marine Protected Areas

Anon. North America's Marine Protected Areas. [Internet]. 2012 . Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/10690-north-americas-marine-protected-areas-north-american-short-film-series
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Miscellaneous

Through a unique collaboration of marine protected area agencies and aquarium learning centers in the three countries, a new series of short films highlights the vital role played by North America’s marine protected areas to support communities that depend on marine resources, provide exciting recreational experiences, enhance our scientific understanding, and help protect a large number of species, restore fisheries, and conserve key habitats.

Marine Priority Conservation Areas: Baja California to the Bering Sea

Morgan L, Maxwell S, Tsao F, Wilkinson TAC, Etnoyer P. Marine Priority Conservation Areas: Baja California to the Bering Sea. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2005 p. 132 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/2201-marine-priority-conservation-areas-baja-california-bering-sea
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

From the Gulf of California, with its deep canyons, nutrient-rich upwellings and high levels of endemism, to the 20,000 kilometers of bays, inlets and inland drainage systems of the Pacific Northwest and the high productivity of the Bering Sea, the west coast of North America is home to unique and important shared marine environments. It is also home to a great number of shared marine species—such as Pacific gray and blue whales, leatherback sea turtles, bluefin tuna, black brant geese and Heermann’s gulls—that migrate thousands of kilometers, moving across national borders without hesitation. Hence, be it through shared species or ecosystems, the marine environments of Canada, Mexico and the United States are intimately linked. Accordingly, action or inaction on one side of a border will have consequences for the shared living organisms occupying ecosystems with no definite boundaries.

Identifying priority conservation areas (PCAs) is one of several marine initiatives sponsored by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America as part of its Strategic Plan for North American Cooperation in the Conservation of Biodiversity. This report describes the process of identifying these PCAs—areas of trinational importance due to their ecological significance, threatened nature and opportunities for conservation—which are in need of biand trinational cooperative action for their successful conservation. Iteratively over the course of this project, the definition of PCAs was refined to reflect the goals of the CEC process, the variable nature of data available in the three nations, and the spatial scale of the Baja California to Bering Sea (B2B) region. Other initiatives advance a common framework for mapping marine ecoregions, identify and help protect species of common conservation concern, and work to provide a common understanding as well as a coordinated and complementary use of institutions, initiatives and tools in each country so as to implement an integrated Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network in North America. This PCA initiative seeks to detail where conservation action is immediately necessary. This identification charts a course for future conservation alliances and action in the B2B region.

A Guide to Ecological Scorecards for Marine Protected Areas in North America

Anon. A Guide to Ecological Scorecards for Marine Protected Areas in North America. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2011 p. 49 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/4184-guide-ecological-scorecards-marine-protected-areas-in-north-america
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This guide is an introduction to the use of marine ecological scorecards and condition reports, which are tools for assessing the condition of marine protected areas in North America. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are managed marine and coastal areas of ecological significance, featuring species and/or properties which require special consideration. Managing these areas effectively helps conserve marine biodiversity in critical marine habitats.

Marine Ecoregions of North America

Wilkinson TAC, Wiken E, Creel JBezaury, Hourigan TF, Agardy T, Herrmann H, Janishevski L, Madden C, Morgan L, Padilla M. Marine Ecoregions of North America. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2009 p. 200 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/3256-marine-ecoregions-north-america
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

A book that celebrates the richness and wealth of our region's common ocean and coastal waters.

Guide for Planners and Managers to Design Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate

Anon. Guide for Planners and Managers to Design Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2012 p. 42 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/10856-guide-planners-and-managers-design-resilient-marine-protected-area-networks-in
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Climate change, along with pollution and overfishing, is one of the great challenges facing North America’s shared oceans today. Through the project Engaging Communities to Conserve Marine Biodiversity through NAMPAN (North American Marine Protected Areas Network) the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) gathered scientific information on the impact of climate change on marine protected area (MPA) networks to improve the design and management process for healthier, more resilient oceans.

Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate

Brock RJ, Kenchington E, Martinez-Arroyo A eds. Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2012 p. 95 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/10820-scientific-guidelines-designing-resilient-marine-protected-area-networks-in-changing
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Climate change, along with pollution and overfishing, is one of the great challenges facing North America’s shared oceans today. Through the project Engaging Communities to Conserve Marine Biodiversity through NAMPAN (North American Marine Protected Areas Network) the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) gathered scientific information on the impact of climate change on marine protected area (MPA) networks to improve the design and management process for healthier, more resilient oceans.