case study

Marine significant areas

Developing an identification and mapping tool



Between 1999 and 2007, Archipelago was involved in identifying marine significant areas (MSAs) throughout British Columbia. A framework concept was identified from which Archipelago could develop a planning and decision support tool to assist in the identification and mapping of MSAs.

MES beach2

Archipelago developed this tool based upon previous experience in identifying and mapping MSAs subject to impacts from forestry activities, and identifying MSAs as part of a resource-planning process (such as the Nootka Coastal Resource Use Plan, and the North Coast Land and Resources Management Plan).

Key features:

  • Evaluated existing MSA identification, planning, and management tools
  • Identified important MSA planning tool characteristics
  • Identified an approach to defining and mapping marine features that meet various stakeholders’ mandates and priorities

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