Blue Park Awards are given to outstanding marine protected areas (MPAs) that are helping to safeguard life in the sea. Nominees for the award go through a rigorous assessment using Blue Parks science-based criteria. They are the MPAs that are in the right places, with the right rules, and the right management to effectively protect marine wildlife. We are thrilled to announce 5 2021 nominees for Blue Park Awards: Mexico’s Revillagigedo Marine National Park, Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina National Park, Croatia’s Brijuni National Park, and Kenya’s Kisite-Mpunguti and Watamu Marine Protected Areas.
Revillagigedo National Marine Park, located at the convergence of major ocean currents off the coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, is a highly productive area that supports an incredibly biodiverse ecosystem of corals, fish, 28 shark species, turtles, giant manta rays and humpback whales.
Jardines de la Reina National Park, encompassing an archipelago of 661 cays off the southwest coast of Cuba, is known its well-preserved and resilient coral reefs that sustain a healthy ecosystem for a high diversity and abundance of fish, invertebrates, and other marine life.
Brijuni National Park protects vital seagrass beds, including endemic Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica), that support high levels of marine biodiversity by providing feeding, refuge and nursery habitats to many species of fish and invertebrates.
Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Protected Area encompasses high diversity, complex coastal ecosystems, including large patch reefs and diverse mangroves, that are critical foraging and breeding habitat for a variety of seabirds, sea turtles, and cetaceans.
Watamu Marine Protected Area, located along the longest fringing reef on the east coast of
Africa, is dominated by diverse seagrass habitats with patch reefs that are excellent habitat for colorful reef fish and relatively large populations of foraging and nesting sea turtles.
These nominees have demonstrated evidence of meeting the Blue Park criteria, but we need your help to complete this stage of the evaluation. We have published our draft evaluation reports for each of the nominees on our website for you to review. You can provide invaluable feedback on these Blue Park nominees through the linked comment forms. Particularly if you have experience with any of these nominees, we would love your input! The public comment period will remain open until 13 May 2021 – please help us evaluate the nominees today! Additionally, we are always looking for new Blue Park nominations, so if you know an MPA that should receive a Blue Park Award, tell us about it!
After the 2021 Blue Park Awards are announced, they will join an international network of outstanding marine protected areas, uniting the global oceans and the people who care about them. The Blue Parks continue to inspire ocean optimism as we work to secure 30% of the ocean for nature. You can learn more about Blue Parks by visiting https://marine-conservation.org/blueparks/.
We wish you health and hope!