To assess the environmental conditions of marine protected areas (MPAs), experts developed an Ecological Assessment Scorecard methodology, which distills large amounts of complex technical and traditional/local ecological knowledge about MPA conditions. These scorecards are an easy yet powerful tool for MPA managers to share evidence-based ecological information about water, habitat and living resources. The first 10 MPA ecological scorecard sites are located in the Bering Sea to Baja California Region (B2B) region. Additional sites are being added by the countries as time and funding permits.
The scorecard for each of the MPAs is based on standard questions about three key themes: water, habitat and living resources, to describe environmental health. Conditions for each ecosystem element addressed by the questions were defined on a five-point scale, ranging from superior (best it could be) to critical (worst it could be). Trends in conditions were likewise defined in five categories ranging from rapidly improving to rapidly diminishing (likely to reach a different state in five years) and stable (unlikely to change beyond normal variation). Initally 14 questions were used and this was revised to 12 after the first 10 MPAs were scored.
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