The National Marine Sanctuaries Climate Change Priorities Virtual Workshop, hosted by CPO’s Marine Ecosystems Risk Team (MERT), successfully concluded three days of speakers, panels, and breakout sessions. More than 125 participants from across at least 20 programs, agencies and institutions, including NOAA Research programs and labs, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) headquarters and individual Sanctuaries, and external agencies/institutions, joined the Jan. 26-28 workshop. The goal of the workshop was to bring together stakeholders within ONMS, NOAA Research, NOAA Headquarters programs (National Ocean Service, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Satellites, National Weather Service), and external partners to advance Sanctuary climate information and science needs identified in regional-focused Sanctuary discussions held in September 2020.
The first day of the workshop focused on science for sanctuary management, with plenary talks from various speakers, including the Directors of CPO and ONMS as well as a Climate Research Collaborations panel. The second day featured 18 separate breakout sessions ranging from cultural resources to the development of climate indicators, all with a system-wide focus. The third and final day continued the breakout sessions, but pivoted to focus on regional, sanctuary-specific issues. The initial workshop report will be circulated among CPO and OMNS to help direct priority climate-related research and information needs, but plans are already underway to share lessons learned from the workshop and report with a broader audience.