On August 6th, CPO Marine Ecosystems Risk Team (MERT) member, Zac Cannizzo – holding a joint position with CPO and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Marine Protected Areas Center – led an internal sanctuary learning exchange on Climate Assessment and Adaptation across the National Marine Sanctuary System. The interactive webinar provided an overview of how sanctuaries are incorporating climate change into their management processes, including lessons learned, pitfalls, and successes experienced by three sanctuaries: Stellwagen Bank, Olympic Coast, and American Samoa.
Fifty-nine participants attended, representing 15 ONMS sites and regions as well as three partner offices within NOAA. The webinar was part of a series of sanctuaries-internal climate learning exchanges intended to increase the integration of climate change throughout the management and operations of the sanctuary system and the daily work of staff and managers. While the webinar was organized by and for sanctuaries, CPO partners were invited to learn how sanctuary strategies are climate-informed. Opportunities for continued learning, listening, and dialogue, such as these exchanges, are an important component of CPO’s growing partnership with ONMS, and these feed into the broader planning of future CPO/Marine Ecosystem Risk Team-ONMS activities.
The goal of the MERT initiative is to reinforce and expand the application of climate science in National Marine Sanctuaries activities to support NOAA’s Stewardship mission.