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A July 18 conference, “Oceans for the New Millennium: Developing and Implementing Ocean Policy,” held in Washington, D.C., highlighted four key issues: ocean biology, pollution, security and governance. However, imagination was an unspoken theme at the conference.

Imagine that the United States has an effective policy for protecting and managing oceans. Imagine that marine protected areas (MPAs), including U.S. national marine sanctuaries, are regulated in a way that preserves fisheries and biological diversity Imagine that enough is actually known about oceans to make prudent decisions concerning their management.