Examining the Role of Marine Protected Areas in Conservation and a Model for Effective Management

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Nicholas A. Funicelli

Second Advisor

Amy C. Hirons

Third Advisor

David Kerstetter


Through out the history of conservation the focus has been on saving species and not the areas they inhabit. Over the last few decades, marine protected areas (MPAs) have been gaining popularity as a form of marine conservation. Marine protected areas are complicated to manage because it involves so many different factors such as the environment, politics and economics. MPAs are governed by state and federal agencies as well as international organizations. Building a marine protected area involves dedicated stakeholders, well thought out goals and a monitoring process. These are just some of the steps to make a marine protected area successful and they often fail despite a well though out plan. MPAs are impacted by human actions such as air and water pollution as well as overfishing.

New technology and conservation methods have made it easier to manage a marine protected area and helped it achieve its goals. Marine protected areas can increase species population and biodiversity in the area when successful. A case study is presented for establishing a marine protected area in the state of Oregon, along with resources for MPA managers. This capstone intends to establish a guideline for proper assessment of marine protected through a management focus.

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