Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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Chapter 7. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

In general, describe how the nominated site addresses monitoring and evaluation


Two laws require that a research and monitoring program be implemented within the Sanctuary. Section 309 of the NMSA mandates that the “Secretary of Commerce shall take such action as is necessary and reasonable to promote and coordinate the use of national marine sanctuaries for research, monitoring, and education purposes.” The 1992 amendments to the FKNMSPA (Section 7(a)(4)) are much more specific, calling on the Secretary of Commerce to:
• identify priority needs for research and amounts needed to improve management of the Sanctuary, and in particular, the coral reef ecosystem within the Sanctuary;
• identify clearly the cause-and-effect relationships between factors threatening the health of the coral reef ecosystem in the Sanctuary; and
• establish a long-term ecological monitoring program and database, including methods to disseminate information on the management of the coral reef ecosystem.

What indicators are used to evaluate management effectiveness and conservation success, and the impact of the management plan on the local communities


Indicators by category Comments
Evaluation of management effectiveness
Management effectiveness Very Satisfactory. The management plan has now proven its value, with increasing numbers of critical fish and invertebrate species within designated no-take reserves and replenishing surrounding fish areas.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of species populations within and around protected area
Species No new groundings of large vessels have occurred, which were common before sanctuary regulations restricted their navigation away from sensitive reef areas. The deployment and maintenance of mooring buoys, coupled with education and enforcement activities have reduced many of the user impacts to the ecosystem.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of habitats within and around the protected area
Habitats Same than below
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of ecological processes within and around the protected area
Ecological processes No data
Evaluation of the impact of the management plan on the local communities
Local communities Very Satisfactory. Through the Sanctuary Advisory Council and public participation in all aspects of the management plan development, the sanctuary is a model for engaging stakeholders in planning for the protection and use of marine resources. Of particular importance is the now wide acceptance that the sanctuary has successfully addressed user conflict issues and provided much needed protection of the Keys marine ecosystem.