Research Technical Report
A PDF version of this report is available here:
A Monitoring Framework for the National Marine Sanctuary System
National Marine Sanctuary Program (July 2004)
This document describes a new approach to monitoring for the system of 14 U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries. The primary purpose of System-Wide Monitoring (SWiM) is to ensure the timely flow of data and information to those responsible for managing and protecting resources in the ocean and coastal zone, and to those that use, depend on, and study the ecosystems encompassed by the sanctuaries. It does this by enabling marine sanctuaries to develop effective ecosystem-based monitoring programs that address management information needs. SWiM provides a design process that can be applied in a consistent way at multiple spatial scales and to multiple resource types. It also provides a reporting strategy to enable the evaluation of status and trends in protected resources and activities that affect them. Finally, SWiM integrates information from partner monitoring efforts to enhance its utility, improve local efforts, apply it to broader issues and scales, and contribute to multi-site, regional and national research and monitoring activities.