MBNMS Ecosystem Observations 1998
Welcome to the first edition of what we hope to be an ongoing report of what WE as a community have learned and observed about the ecosystem protected by NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We've titled it, Ecosystem Observations.
This Sanctuary has been in need of an annual report for some time, but we decided not simply to highlight our own accomplishments. Rather, this document, while including some classic annual report kinds of things, focuses on the natural resources, organized in a way that tracks the marine biological communities, habitats, and populations of Central California. We accomplished this by meeting another of our goals: to provide an opportunity for the "users" of the Sanctuary to present what they have discovered about its marine resources. By virtue of its many contributors, this annual report, our Ecosystem Observations, also stands as a tribute to the strong network of individuals and organizations who cooperate to protect and promote the Sanctuary's resources.
Please view this report as a "snapshot" rather than a thorough overview, and, for space reasons, we have had to omit background on some articles to focus on 1998 observations. Nonetheless, when you read this, you will see why I am proud both of the Sanctuary staff's accomplishments and the contributions of our partners.
Certainly 1998 - the International Year of the Ocean - has been a remarkable year. In March Sanctuary staff pitched in with the JASON Project, broadcast from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, adjacent kelp beds, and NOAA ships to two million school kids. In June we co-hosted, with the Navy, countless leaders in ocean policy, including the President, at the National Ocean Conference. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary was featured in many national publications - National Geographic, Sunset, Time, Outside - culminating in the Sanctuary being identified by Audubon magazine (Dec. 1998) as one of the top ten conservation successes, "paradises preserved," in the United States this century. Whoa.
What's up for next year? The Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a partnership between NOAA and the National Geographic Society, kick off the exploration of National Marine Sanctuaries in Monterey this spring. We hope to see the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, our enabling legislation, reauthorized this summer. As a human community, we hope to make further progress on our understanding of, and protection for, the marine ecosystem encompassed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This annual report - these and future Ecosystem Observations - should help us mark that progress.
WILLIAM J. DOUROS,
NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
A PDF Version of this report is available here: