MPAtlas: Interactive, Real-time Data on Current & Proposed MPAs
Marine Conservation Institute (MCI): Even with multiple governments, international coalitions and nonprofit organizations working to establish MPAs, progress has been too slow to make a meaningful difference for ocean life. Only 2.18% of oceans are protected in MPAs, far less than the 15.4% of land under protection. More importantly, less than half of the area in MPAs is designated as “no-take” reserves, which provides the strongest level of protection. Many of the most important and vulnerable ecosystems are not yet protected and others are vastly underrepresented. It was realized that the world needed a tool to provide real-time information on current and proposed MPAs and their effectiveness in protecting marine life. MCI began working in 2011 to compile the information needed to create a robust database and interactive map that are integral components of MPAtlas. A prototype website was launched in February 2012 and MPAtlas.org officially released in June of 2012. The MPAtlas is continuously evolving and updating.