About the North American Marine Protected Areas Network

The North American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN) represents a trinational network of resource agencies, marine protected areas (MPA) managers, and other relevant experts, and is intended to enhance and strengthen the conservation of biodiversity in critical marine habitats and help foster a comprehensive network of MPAs in North America. NAMPAN is a network of both important marine places and the institutions and people connected with those places.

Canada, Mexico and the United States have taken significant steps in developing federal legislation to protect the marine environment, and recognize that effective implementation of a network of protected areas requires transboundary cooperation and complementary conservation and management actions.

In response to this challenge, the North American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN) was born in November 1999 under the auspices of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). Its goal is to enhance and strengthen the conservation of biodiversity in critical marine habitats throughout North American MPAs and facilitating information exchange among experts.

By creating a system of marine protected areas spanning national, state/provincial, and local jurisdictions, the benefits of protected areas can be greatly increased.

NAMPAN aims to:

  • implement complementary, integrated conservation efforts;
  • increase collaboration and development of cross-cutting conservation initiatives;
  • enhance collaboration to address common challenges to marine biodiversity; and
  • increase regional, national and international capacity to conserve critical marine and coastal habitats by sharing  information, new technologies and management strategies.

To date, the NAMPAN has focused most of its activities on the Baja California to Bering Sea Region (B2B). In keeping with its strategic approach to transboundary marine conservation, the NAMPAN has lead a number of key initiatives including:

More recently, the NAMPAN has conducted a pilot project to develop an easy yet powerful tool for MPA managers to share evidence-based information through ecological scorecards and condition reports that provide concise, easily understood, health assessments on water, habitat and living resources.