大加勒比地区沿海生态系统的迅速衰退正在进入第五个十年。加勒比海洋实验室协会 (AMLC) 的实验室已经完成了一些记录这种下降及其原因的最佳科学。加勒比保护先驱们对这种趋势感到震惊，建立了遍布整个地区的海洋保护区 (MPA)。不幸的是，许多保护很少或根本没有保护，现在已知它们太小而无法有效维持沿海生态系统。海洋空间规划 (MSP) 有望涵盖影响沿海生态系统和邻近土地的生态过程和人类影响的大地理范围。 AMLC 凭借其成员机构的科学专业知识和国家政治关系，处于有利地位，可以帮助实施试点项目。 MSP 是基于生态系统管理的第一步，并在其他地方取得了相当大的成功。它是我们维持人类利用和保护珊瑚礁及相关生态系统的最佳机会。 Rev. Biol. Trop. 58（增刊 3）：71-79。电子版 2010 年 10 月 1 日。
The rapid decline of coastal ecosystems of the Wider Caribbean is entering its fifth decade. Some of the best science documenting this decline and its causes has been done by the laboratories of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC). Alarmed at the trends, Caribbean conservation pioneers established marine protected areas (MPAs) which spread throughout the region. Unfortunately, many have little or no protection and are now known to be too small to be effective in sustaining coastal ecosystems. Marine spatial planning (MSP) holds much promise to encompass the large geographic scales of the ecological processes and human impacts that influence coastal ecosystems and adjacent lands. The AMLC, through the scientific expertise and the national political connections of its member institutions, is well-positioned to help implement a pilot project. MSP a first step in ecosystem-based management and has had considerable success elsewhere. It holds our best chance of sustaining human use and conserving the coral reefs and associated ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3): 71-79. Epub 2010 October 01.