Documenting and Evaluating a New Approach to Establishing Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas in the U.S.
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In 2006, U.S. President G.W. Bush drew upon the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) via Presidential Proclamations 8031/8112. The Marianas Trench (MTMNM) and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments (PRIMNM) were created in 2009 thru the same process, representing a relatively new approach to establishing large-scale Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the U.S. Although the Antiquities Act approach can facilitate rapid establishment of new MPA, it may not incorporate the procedures that, by law, must precede other forms of protected area designation, such as management planning requirements. To characterize the effects of using the Antiquities Act to designate PMNM, MTMNM, and PRIMNM, this study assessed a series of monument characteristics, including current status of management planning. A final management plan was implemented for PMNM within three years of designation, likely attributable to extensive planning efforts incidentally completed prior to Proclamation 8031. Neither MTMNM nor PRIMNM was able to draw from similar pre-designation preparations and, perhaps as a result, planning at those sites continues, nearly six years after establishment. Combining the Antiquities Act approach with more conventional MPA designation procedures, integrating planning products with Proclamation language reflecting site-specific requirements, should enhance monument effectiveness, while allowing a U.S. President to establish a `blue legacy.'
- Marine affairs