Brendon Kendall

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Marine ecosystems face a wide range of threats, both anthropogenic and natural. These include direct threats such as overfishing to indirect threats such as ocean acidification resulting from climate change. Because of these dangers, there has been a need to make more efforts in conserving our degrading marine ecosystems. One way of preserving them has been to establish marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs come in a variety of different forms, such as national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. I examined two different types of MPAs, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This study examined how effective these MPAs are in protecting natural resources and the marine organisms found in these areas. I conducted an interview with the Superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Sarah Fangman, to gather the necessary information I needed for this report. I also conducted my own research with information provided by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and supplemented by my own findings. ANOVA tests were conducted to analyze the number of illegal commercial fishing events over the years for each MPA. The results of this analysis, on top of my research on studies done on MPA effectiveness, I concluded that there is evidence that MPAs are able to conserve marine organisms under certain conditions. However, much more research needs to be done on the wide range of factors that should be included in determining MPA effectiveness, such as enforcement, economic viability, and cultural heritage.


Department: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

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