United States and Cuba Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Marine Protected Areas

Havana, November 18, 2015 – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment (CITMA). The MOU will facilitate joint efforts concerning science, stewardship, and management related to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Both countries have agreed to a sister MPA relationship to foster conservation and management of natural marine resources, sharing technical and scientific data, and promoting awareness and understanding. The initial sister MPA relationship will focus on Guanahacabibes National Park, including the Cuban offshore Banco de San Antonio, the Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries and Dry Tortugas and Biscayne Bay National Parks.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan said, “The opportunity for international cooperation in marine conservation is invaluable and this agreement moves us closer to ensuring a healthy and productive ocean for everyone.” NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.