Marine Protected Area Mapping - Promoting Awareness, Compliance, and Enforcement via Open Data and Tools
Marine Protected and Managed Areas (MPAs) are a cornerstone of coastal and ocean conservation efforts and reflect years of dedicated effort to protect species and habitats through science-based regulation. When they are effective, biomass increases dramatically, and up to 14 fold and play a significant role in conserving biodiversity. Effective MPAs have enforcement. Enforcement cannot occur without awareness of their location among ocean stakeholders and the general public. The Anthropocene Institute, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Protected Area Center, is creating an actively managed, free and open, worldwide database of MPAs, including normalized metadata and regulation summaries, full GIS boundaries, revision history, and public facing interactive web maps. This presentation will describe the technology stack (custom PostGIS database application and interactive web map leveraging Leaflet, Mapbox vector tiles and styles, jQuery, and Semantic-UI), and also the underlying interdisciplinary effort to populate and manage relevant data accurately. AI currently employs 2 full-time lawyers that first comb the relevant regulation; 2 full-time geographers and a full-time GIS database/web engineer on the project.