Soon after receiving the commitment from Esri, McClintock received a call from an official in the Department of Conservation in New Zealand. "They said, 'We want to do this,' " McClintock said. "They had seen MarineMap two years before and they'd wanted to do it then, but couldn't afford it. Jack's money made that possible."
The MSI scientists are customizing a SeaSketch program that will address the needs of New Zealand "the entire country," according to McClintock. "They have a mandate for ocean conservation planning, to set up conservation areas throughout the entire exclusive economic zone," he said. "SeaSketch will allow them to do their own designing. New Zealand recognizes that, in order for these plans to have the greatest chance of success, you have to let the stakeholders create the plans."
The researchers hope to formally launch the application in August, about the same time that New Zealand will be unveiling its plan for comprehensive marine spatial planning in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. "We'll launch it first in New Zealand, but anybody will be able to go in and define study regions. You could go in and say, 'I want to be planning in Alaska.' If you know where the data are, you can start pointing the application at various sources that are already out there on the Web that are accessible. And you can start immediately drawing plans. Or we can help you with it."
In addition to the New Zealand project, McClintock has been asked by the prime minister of the Cook Islands to help create a plan that will cover a 1 million square kilometer marine park that's been proposed for the South Pacific country. "It's pretty exciting," McClintock said. "The reason they want to do this is that these Pacific island nations have the most to lose when it comes to the rise in sea levels."
|Contact: George Foulsham|
University of California - Santa Barbara