Six years ago, an Academy Panel evaluated the field management of National Marine Sanctuaries (NMSP). This report suggests next steps for the program.
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Like many agencies, NMSP cannot succeed without enlisting active support from a network of other federal and state agencies, local communities, non-profit organizations, user groups and citizens. In addition, many factors affecting environmental quality at sanctuaries are beyond the program’s direct control; changes in conditions may or may not be attributable to NMSP activities. The path to effective management of such networks begins with setting shared, measurable goals for performance, and then building systems to monitor progress toward those goals. NMSP has made an excellent start and must continue its efforts to streamline its planning processes and focus on performance.
The Panel offered two overarching recommendations: