NOAA and American Samoa Managers and Scientists Collaboration to Provide Information for Potential Network of Marine Protected Areas to Improve Resource Conservation
Scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, working in collaboration with biologists and managers form the Territory of American Samoa, conducted a suite of of “kickoff” meetings to determine how best to implement a biogeographic assessment to define a potential network(s) of marine protected areas in American Samoa. This work is directly linked to the ONMS Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary management plan review and the Territory’s efforts to develop a network of marine protected areas (MPAs). The NOAA team met with all relevant American Samoa natural resource management agencies and the Governor of American Samoa during the week of April 27; the project partners agreed to move forward on the proposed study. The next steps in the process are to develop a short project concept document, and by the end of the year, a comprehensive project implementation plan for the proposed 2-year biogeographic assessment study.