U.S. and Santa Catarina scientists discuss the importance of marine space planning for sustainable development

Virtual panel bring together representatives from the University of California, NOAA’s National Ocean and the Federal University of Santa Catarina

Porto Alegre, October 20, 2021: The U.S. Consul General in Porto Alegre, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Brazil, the Federal University of Santa Catarina and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are holding a Zoom webinar titled “The importance of marine spatial planning for sustainable development,” this Wednesday, at 5:00 PM.

The panel will be comprised of Will McClintock, Ph.D., researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara, Dra. Marinez Eymael Garcia Scherer, Ph.D. biologist, professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina and coordinator of the Laboratory of Integrated Coastal and Marine Management, and Dr. James Morris, Ph.D., Marine Ecologist, NOAA’s National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

Those interested in participating should register in advance via the link: https://bit.ly/30rvrft. The webinar is open to the public, free of charge and will feature simultaneous interpretation.

What marine spatial planning is (MSP)?  

Per UNESCO, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a public process of analyzing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that have been specified through a political process. MSP is not an end in itself but a practical way to create and establish a more rational use of marine space and the interactions among its uses, to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment, and to deliver social and economic outcomes in an open and planned way.


Dr. Will McClintock

B.A., Biology, Earlham College; M.S. Behavioral Ecology, University of Cincinnati; M.A., Counseling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute; Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara) is a Project Scientist at the UCSB Marine Science Institute, a member of the UCSB Center for Marine Assessment and Planning, and a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. His main research goal involves the development of geospatial technologies including SeaSketch (www.seasketch.org), a software service for collaborative “geodesign” of marine spatial plans, eCatch and eFins software for fisheries monitoring and enforcement.

Dr. Marinez Eymael Garcia Scherer

Biologist, PhD in Marine Sciences, professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina/Brazil and coordinator of the Laboratory of Integrated Coastal and Marine Management. Marinez specializes in Marine Space Planning and Integrated Coastal Management, having trained teams on these topics in countries in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. She is coordinator of the Ibero-American Integrated Coastal Management Network in Brazil and editor-in-chief of Costas Magazine.

Dr. James A. Morris 

Marine ecologist with NOAA’s National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science where his research focuses on development of sustainable pioneering ocean industries including food and energy production. Dr. Morris founded the Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) research program that consists of multidisciplinary scientists who develop tools and provide services for coastal managers around the U.S. His team is presently leading spatial planning for Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in U.S. federal waters and has developed novel ocean spatial planning tools such as OceanReports. Dr. Morris is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at both Duke University and North Carolina State University and he received a Presidential Career Award from President Obama.


  • Panel – The importance of marine spatial planning for sustainable development
  • Registration by Zoom: https://bit.ly/30rvrft
  • When: Wednesday, October 20, 5:00 PM

For more information about this press release, please contact the Information Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Porto Alegre through portoalegreimprensa@state.gov.

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