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Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON)

What is MBON?

The vision of this project is that the National Marine Sanctuaries should serve as sentinel sites for monitoring marine biodiversity of the nation’s coastal and shelf waters.

With our partners, we are establishing a pilot Marine Biodiversity Observation Network that supports the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the complex partnership of Federal and State agencies, including NOAA, the Department of the Interior, and State and Tribal entities that exercise overlapping jurisdictions in the National Marine Sanctuary system. The project engages several NOAA line offices, elements of the Integrated Ocean Observing System, and other government, academic, and private partners that can spin off the MBON strategies developed here to other sanctuaries, marine protected areas, or other coastal, estuarine, and watershed management jurisdictions.

Among the most pressing issues identified as a threat common to all US. National Marine Sanctuaries is the loss of biodiversity and the unknown potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge is to devise an MBON that effectively tracks the status and trends in biodiversity.

What is FWRI's role?

FWRI is engaged in several activities in support of this project, with our focus specifically on the FL Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). FWRI's GIS and Mapping group serves two primary roles in the MBON project:

  • Compiling a significant amount of the biological data available for the FKNMS and making it available via interactive web map.
  • Assisting with implementation of an ecosystem model using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) framework to understand the trophic dynamics within the Florida Keys.

The MBON Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary Map Viewer was developed to help visualize some of the many data sets that were acquired to help researchers to study the biodiversity changes in the Florida Keys. 

Contact Information

For more information on the MBON project, please contact Kathleen OKeife at FWRI.