MPA Science

man standing on a offshore data-logger station
An offshore data-logger station at Goodwin Islands in Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve. Credit: April Bahen, CBNERRVA

Scientific understanding of MPAs is growing rapidly. Research has shown that MPAs are effective at increasing the abundance and diversity of marine life within their boundaries. In order to gain support from and build trust with MPA stakeholders, MPA managers and planners rely on natural and social science for the design and management of these special areas.

MPAs and Climate Science

MPAs are affected by climate impacts and need to be adaptively managed. They can also help build resilience to climate change impacts. 

MPAs and Fisheries Science

MPAs have been used for decades to manage the nation's marine resources and to conserve both ecosystems and fisheries production. The resources below address questions about the effectiveness of MPAs at meeting fisheries and/or biodiversity conservation goals.