The creation of a marine reserve network is an active area of policy in Australia. Successful policy hinges on community support, which requires an understanding of what drives improvements in social welfare. Here, a discrete choice experiment is used to estimate ecological values for the Ningaloo Marine Park. A novel aspect of this research is that it not only considers the values people hold for conservation outcomes, but also their preferences for how those outcomes are achieved. By considering management process within the choice model, we gain a richer understanding of the relationship between social welfare and marine conservation. The results indicate that management process does have an impact on individuals’ preferences for conservation.