Hope Spots


Nomination Guidelines

Knowing what you need beforehand will allow you to save time and complete the form more easily. Please write in your own words and make sure you save regularly using the ‘save’ button to avoid losing your work. This will also allow you to revisit the nomination if you don’t complete it in one go.

  • Tip! It’s important that you take the time and effort to fill in the form well, otherwise we are likely to ask you to give additional information or defer the nomination- all of which takes more time and effort from everyone. Two points we find nominators don’t give enough attention to is the importance of having other local partners and giving us enough information about your site and what you want to do here. If you seriously want to make a difference in your Hope Spot, both are essential and the council will consider these points seriously.


  • Here is a word doc. version of all the questions for those who want to prepare their nomination offline.
  • The form will give you a choice of two paths—one where we ask for basic information (suitable for the general public) and another where we ask for much more (suited to a nomination from a knowledgeable non-scientific, scientific professional or NGO). We know that there are different levels of knowledge and all are equally valid, especially when collected together.
  • So if you want to give us the basic information, only the questions in bold need to be prepared. Otherwise have a go at all the questions, bold or otherwise. Once you get to the nomination form itself, the second question asks you, “How much information can you provide us?” This is where the two paths separate: those who want to give basic information, chose the ‘I can provide some information’ option and those happy to provide lots of information, choose the ‘I will have a go at all your questions’ option. The more information we get, the better Dr. Earle and the Hope Spot Council can make an informed decision.

You will need to prepare the following information to fill out the nomination form (Remember, bold is for basic information; otherwise please answer all the questions in the nomination form):

  1. Name of the proposed Hope Spot
  2. Decide how much information you can provide?
    • “I can provide some information” will indicate you have the basic information we need (all the questions in bold on this page).
    • “I will have a go at all your questions” will indicate you have in depth, scientific knowledge and can provide some information on all the questions in this list.
  3. Contact information: Name, physical address, email, phone number
    • This information will only be used for contact purposes between Mission Blue and yourself unless otherwise authorized.
  4. The location of the Hope Spot on a world map (provided in the form) with an estimate of the size of the area.
    • Please be as precise as possible and indicate the measurement of the area (km or mi.).
  5. Why this proposed Hope Spot is special?
    • Please provide a full description of what habitats and species make this special. Describe why it should be accepted as a Hope Spot for biological and/or cultural reasons. Use the space provided to write a full description which will allow the decision making council to assess the potential of your nomination fully. At the end of this guide is an example*. (Max 2000 characters)
  6. Using the questions in the table below or in the downloadable word doc. tell us about the special features of your proposed Hope Spot. Indicate: presence (yes); absence (no); and unsure (unsure) along with justifications for your choices. See an example to the first question and please provide evidence to justify this choice using quantitative and/or qualitative data. (Max 2000 characters) 
    How is your Hope Spot special? Does it…

1.1 Hold significant/representative populations of rare or endemic species

yes      no     unsure

1.1 Comments: e.g. We have a breeding population of grey reef sharks  found now where else in the region…

1.2 Contain umbrella species

yes      no     unsure


1.3 Hold a wide diversity of species

yes      no     unsure


1.4 Hold a significant process or ecosystem here (e.g. phytoplankton bloom, reefs, kelp forests)

yes      no     unsure


1.5 Contain the site of significant event (breeding/spawning)

yes      no     unsure


1.6 Cover the location of species assemblages (e.g. breeding and aggregation of mammals-corals-fish)

yes      no     unsure


1.7 Hold importance for the dispersal of adults and/or juveniles

yes      no     unsure


1.8 Potentially have a spill-over effect if under legal protection

yes      no     unsure


              How is your Hope Spot special? Is it…

2.1 Placed on or is a migration route

yes      no     unsure


2.2 A site that enhances connectivity between other marine protected areas or specific populations

yes      no     unsure


2.3 An area of cultural significance to a local or regional population (historical, cultural or spiritual value)

yes      no     unsure


2.4 A nomination that has community based support

yes      no     unsure


2.5 A site that contains economic/touristic appeal (natural spectacle)

yes      no     unsure


2.6 Made up of significant aesthetic qualities that it can attract attention to threatened or weakened ecological qualities 

yes      no     unsure


             How is your Hope Spot special? Is the site…

3.1 Potentially encouraging of scientific research projects

yes      no     unsure


3.2 Accessible for educational projects, directly or indirectly (through digital means)

yes      no     unsure


3.3 Made up of a ‘Star’ quality not already mentioned, with potential to make a difference in the final decision. (Be creative here)

yes      no     unsure


7.     What organizations are currently involved in supporting this Hope Spot proposal and who is their primary contact(s)? This can include governmental or non-governmental organizations, if any. Contact details will be kept in confidence unless otherwise authorized and used only for validating information.

8.      How is the Hope Spot threatened and what is its current level of protection?

  • Please indicate the threats and if the protection is legal with basic information about the designating body, if there are management plans in place, etc. (Max 1500 characters)

9.       Your concrete goals for the proposed Hope Spot if Mission Blue officially accepts it

  • E.g. Do you plan to eventually get legal protection? Use it for educational purposes? Bring it into the social media spotlight? etc. (Max 1000 characters)

10.      Any governmental interest in this proposed Hope Spot and how it might “fit in” with existing marine protected areas of the country of jurisdiction (if any)

  • This can range from no interest whatsoever to its use as traditional fishing grounds, etc. (Max 1000 characters)

11.       Any other sources of information on the proposed Hope Spot, e.g. articles, stories, scientific papers, reports & photos you might have available

  • Any information provided here can be used by the council to support your justifications in the criteria table or add extra information not already requested. (Max 16 megabytes)

12.    Additional comments.

  • This is a chance to add any additional comments (e.g. If you think your proposed Hope Spot has funding requirements to be successful, if many volunteer hours have already been spent on conserving this area and how many can be counted upon in the future, etc…) (Max 2500 characters)

13.   How your proposed Hope Spot will provide HOPE for the future. You can be as creative as you wish here.


* Example to the question “Why is the proposed site special?”:

All {number} species of salmon {species names} exist in the watershed, which is incredibly unique. The estuary itself currently has native eelgrass {name}, located in over half of the estuary. This species provides habitat for many others making it essential habitat for Pacific marine ecosystems, specifically salmon juveniles too small to go to sea. Eelgrass in the {location} inlet has been decimated over last 100 years and this is one of the only locations within the inlet that has a healthy eelgrass population. Habitat-wise this site is known for its special off shore {name} Sponge reefs, found only here. The Reefs also provide homes for endangered fish like {examples} are a significant spawning and nursery area for the Pacific {fish names}. More than 50 seabird colonies are found here where over 240,000 pairs of {bird names} are found supported by the straits. There are also numbers of {names} which appear on the IUCN redlist of threatened species under Concern category. Orcas, {name} porpoises and {name} dolphins are regularly spotted throughout the year, while {name} whales are frequent summer visitors. {name} sea lions and {name} seals live here as permanent residents. The shallow banks and upwelling areas are very important to summering and migrating birds which can be found feeding on a variety of 21 invertebrates for example {name}. On a cultural level the area is significant as well. The reef is also of great importance to the local {name} community and is considered to have historical sites under water yet to be discovered.  Because of all these attractions, this site is highly attractive to tourists (a market study showed the tourism value here to be worth over $2 million/year) who have only recently started arriving. With some help we can increase efforts already started to encourage responsible use of this area and set up an NGO to create a management plan of the site.


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