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Scientists Create New Online Ocean Conservation Tool

A new online ocean conservation tool has been launched. It's called the Conservation Planning Database."So I know it sounds like a bit of a snoozer, but it's actually incredibly exciting," says Heather Leslie, director of the University of Maine Darling Marine Research Center in Walpole. "This is something that a large team of scientists from all over the world have been working on for going on 20 years now."

Leslie is one of the founders of the Conservation Planning Database.  She says a couple of decades ago she and some colleagues from Australia realized that there was no central place to share information about ocean conservation - who is doing what, what's working and what isn't, how to establish marine reserves, and ocean parks, and tackling issues such as climate change.

"So what do we know - globally - about how conservationists have addressed those challenges of climate change impacts - of moving species and moving people and the ocean?" Leslie says. "How do we design marine parks the best we possibly can to deal with the dynamic world that's at our doorstep, particularly in the Gulf of Maine?"

Leslie says the free, peer-reviewed repository of information is meant to assist people from all over the world in learning about and solving ocean issues.

It's open to the public and can be accessed here.