Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


Habitat degradation and depleting fisheries are a significant problem in today's oceans. Human impacts such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution and recreation have contributed to unhealthy marine ecosystems. These marine ecosystems are of great importance historically, biologically, and economically. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been established to protect marine biodiversity, conduct scientific research and education, promote natural and cultural resources within a certain area, and reduce user conflict among stakeholders. In this paper, seven MPAs located throughout the world in temperate and tropical oceans are researched. A template spreadsheet was created for each MPA that provides detailed information including the location, biological, physical and ecological processes, human uses/economics, major threats to the site, and management regulations and strategies. These spreadsheets may be used by scientists and policy makers as a management tool when planning new and proposed MPAs, or when comparing existing MPAs. For instance, this paper uses the spreadsheet template to explore the major threats of each MPA in order to see if the management strategies successfully address the threats. In doing so, the management strategies addressing these threats, such as lack of regulation enforcement, have been compared to other MPAs with the same problem so that the best strategy for enforcing laws in an MPA can be shown as an example to others. The ultimate goal of this project is to help provide necessary information to MPA management teams via an information display protocol so that successful management of our oceans is practiced throughout the world.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute