Noémie Roy

McGill University
B.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Elena Bennett
Start: 2018-09-04
End: 2019-04-30


Evaluating the biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision potential of the network of marine protected areas in the St. Lawrence
My project aims to fill knowledge gaps concerning the St. Lawrence marine protected area network by investigating if it has been designed to maximize biodiversity conservation efficiency, highlighting areas of successes and those with need for improvement, and assessing its potential to provide ecosystem services. I will evaluate their potential for biodiversity conservation using five criteria proposed by Edgar et al. (2014). These criteria form the acronym NEOLI for No-take (no fishing allowed), Enforced regulations, Old (over 10 years old), Large (over 100 km2) and Isolated from fishing areas. Edgar et al. used them to evaluate the efficiency at conserving biodiversity of 87 MPAs worldwide. To my knowledge, this technique has never been used for marine protected areas in eastern Canada. I will find the data to evaluate the MPAs in the literature and through government publications. Then, I will use GIS and the NEOLI criteria to analyse the potential of the St. Lawrence marine protected areas. The ecosystem services, or benefits people receive from ecosystems (Millennium Assessment Act 2005), provided by the St. Lawrence network of marine protected areas are weakly quantified in the literature. I will build off past literature to understand the methods used to quantify ecosystem services in other estuaries and gulfs.Then, amongst these methods, I will apply one that can be used in the St. Lawrence. Edgar GJ, Stuart-Smith RD, Willis TJ, Kininmonth S, Baker SC, Banks S, Barrett NS, Becerro MA, Bernard ATF, Berkhout J et al. 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature. 506:216-220. doi: 10.1038/nature13022 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and human well-being: a framework for assesment. Washington (DC): Millennium Ecosystem Assessment;