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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

USA & Cuba Sign Marine Agreement

USA & Cuba Sign Marine Agreement

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, November 18, 2015/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, marine life, sustainability, environment

              Coastal Beach in Cuban Marine Reserve (credit: NOAA)

Earlier in the year, Riled Up noted the remarkable marine ecosystem, the Jardines de la Reina or the Queen's Garden,  that had been protected for decades in Cuba. Marine species long removed from coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean survived in abundance in the Cuba reserve. Now the United States and Cuba have signed a joint agreement to build on such successes. The announcement was made by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) and the National Park Service (NPS) in conjunction with Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment. The new agreement aims to facilitate joint efforts on ocean science, stewardship, and management related to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

      
                                     Corals, Biscayne National Park  (credit: National Park Service)

In a statement about the new relationship, NOAA's Administrator said:

“We recognize we all share the same ocean and face the same challenges of understanding, managing, and conserving critical marine resources for future generations. The opportunity for international cooperation in marine conservation is invaluable and this moves us closer to ensuring a healthy and productive ocean for everyone.”


The initial US/Cuban partnerships will focus on Guanahacabibes National Park in Cuba, including its offshore Bank of San Antonio, and the Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries, managed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Dry Tortugas and Biscayne national parks managed by the National Park Service.

Marine ecosystems have become degraded in much of the Caribbean region. Maybe what is learned in this new conservation collaboration between the US and Cuba will extend any early marine restoratio successes further.

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