National Marine Sanctuaries
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#4 2012
Sanctuary Check Up:
Completing Condition Reports for the Sanctuary System

When you want to know how well that you, as a system of organs and tissues and cells, are functioning, you get a report from your doctor. Similarly, the sanctuary system wants to know how well each of its sites, and the system as a whole, is doing. Condition reports provide this information for each site, and together, provide a snap shot of how well the system is doing. In 2012, the sanctuary system completed the last condition report, for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Condition Reports provide a summary of sanctuary resources, pressures on those resources, the current condition and trends, and management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment. Sanctuary staff, with other NOAA legal and program staff, ensure that the condition reports are reviewed according to general scientific peer review standards as well as White-House issued review requirements. A preliminary review of the condition reports shows that while trawling has significantly impacted some offshore areas and invasive species are becoming a greater threat, water quality remains good, particularly in offshore areas, and that recent fisheries actions appear to be having a positive effect on some species.

Ever wonder how the world's ocean is doing? See the results of a recent report from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.

coral reefs

More information about condition reports