The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) has released its latest condition report, which assesses the status and trends of the sanctuary’s ecosystem, as well as the natural, maritime, and cultural heritage resources within the sanctuary that support many lives and livelihoods. The report concludes that overall, most habitats within the sanctuary are in good condition, but there are some growing concerns about the effects of climate change — especially for open ocean habitats.
Throughout the report’s development, sanctuary staff worked with numerous other partners to identify and compile information, including state and federal agencies, academic and non-governmental organizations, partners, funders, and researchers. NCCOS provided two years of support in collecting, integrating, and evaluating data to support report development. Our researchers worked closely with local experts to identify key ecological indicators and to define the status and trends for those indicators using existing information. Bryan Costa, NCCOS research ecologist and project manager during the initial stages notes that "This collaborative effort brought together experts from a range of organizations with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. That diversity of experience was critical to the success of the condition reporting process, and NCCOS was honored to be a key partner."
NOAA uses sanctuary condition reports as a standardized tool to assess the status and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Specifically, the reports include information on the status and trends of water quality, habitat, living resources and maritime archaeological resources and the human activities that affect them. Learn more about the effort in this OCNMS web story.