Pledge About

Rick MacPherson

Conservation Programs Director, The Coral Reef Alliance

Presentation: The Business of MPAs

Many MPAs often lack adequate funding to ensure protection of their resources and enforcement falls by the wayside. In this session, presenters explore various traditional and non-traditional tools to generate short-, medium-, and long-term funding mechanisms for law enforcement plans and MPA management in general. We discuss options including economic valuation, MPA business plans, developing user fees, partnerships with the private sector, conservation agreements, conservation trusts, and other payments for ecosystem services approaches.


Rick is a marine biologist specializing in coral reef ecology and natural resource management. Following his academic preparation from Roger Williams University and Harvard University, Rick conducted fieldwork in coral reef destinations throughout the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean basin. He later served as lecturer and marine science specialist for the University of California, Berkeley, and was a founding investigator for the California Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE), an NSF-funded effort to improve ocean science education nationally. At U.C. Berkeley, Rick piloted an undergraduate and graduate course, Communicating Ocean Science, which is now taught at more than twenty universities nationwide. He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary system.

Rick has published extensively on topics related to ocean science, coral reef ecology, and marine conservation, and is a frequent guest speaker at international marine conservation symposiums and meetings. He has also led efforts to utilize emerging online and social media to promote broader public understanding of ocean science and conservation. In addition to his professional presence on Twitter and Facebook, he is a regular contributor to the marine science blog Deep Sea News. Rick has logged more than 1,500 dive hours at sites across the world.

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