Straddling the border of the United States and Russia, the Bering Strait is the Pacific gateway to the Arctic—and once formed a bridge for humans and other species traveling between North American and Eurasia during the last ice age. Millions of seabirds nest, forage and breed in the region and hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, walrus and other marine mammals migrate through the Strait each spring and fall, including humpback whales in transit from Mexico. But as the sea ice retreats and Arctic development grows, more and more ships are transiting the narrow 50-mile-wide passageway, raising the risk of collisions with wildlife, noise disturbance and the potential for oil spills.
Marine Conservation Institute and the Waitt Foundation provide this
interactive tool to help users visualize the locations and coverage of global
marine protected areas (MPA). This atlas provides information on over 8000 MPAs
globally, drawing on datasets from the
World Database on Protected Areas1,
US MPA Center2,
and other country- and regional-level data authorities, as well as research
conducted by the Marine Conservation Institute.
In addition to MPA boundaries and site management information, this dataset
contains information on conservation measures with a particular focus on those
restricting the exploitation of marine life.
Features on this site are designed to allow users to understand (1) where current
protection exists and at what level, and (2), where important areas for future protection
are and any processes underway to establish MPAs. This provides vital information to
countries and their citizens interested in ocean conservation, management and stewardship.
The dataset is constantly being updated and we welcome visitors to the site to provide
feedback and update content by creating a member account on MPAtlas today.