Science to Management

Why Science Matters

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) conducts, sponsors, and facilitates research that is fundamental to understanding the nature and uses of natural and cultural resources in marine sanctuaries. This research is driven by management needs and focused on improved understanding, assessment, evaluation, protection, and restoration of its trust resources.

This mission-directed approach of conservation science allows sanctuary staff and many partners to document the condition and trends of these protected ecosystems as well as the significance of emerging threats, and to develop assessment and response capabilities that ensure effective management. The ONMS evaluates management practices, provides improved understanding for future management decisions, and strengthens the role of the ONMS in supporting broader, NOAA-wide responsibilities for coastal management.

This document lists individual examples of management issues that have been addressed using various types of information derived from scientific observations and investigations in marine sanctuaries. They represent, of course, only a fraction of the issues that a marine sanctuary manager must face, but they illustrate a range of management issues, scientific approaches, and products required by managers to make informed decisions about activities and policies necessary to protect sanctuary resources. They also illustrate the variety of partners participating in sanctuary science and resource management, the variety of decision tools available, and the many response alternatives available.