image-13.jpg

Just as parks on land protect special lands and wildlife from over development and hunting, these underwater parks preserve California's stunning marine ecosystems for future generations to observe and enjoy.

wwf_report_infog.jpg

Marine Protected Areas (MPAS)

California's coast and ocean are among our most treasured resources. The productivity, wildness, and beauty found here is central to California's identity, heritage, and economy. The need to safeguard the long-term health of California's marine life was recognized by the California Legislature in 1999 with the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act. This Act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) designed, created, and managed using sound science and stakeholder input.

SOSMag-Iss05-Art06-Im004-©IvanColic-AfroGraphique-SOSFCopyright-MarineProtectedAreas-2560x1354.jpg
mpa_benefits_infographic.png

MPAs protect the diversity and abundance of marine life, the habitats they depend on, and the integrity of marine ecosystems. The Marine Life Protection Act recognizes that a combination of MPAs (marine reserves, conservation areas, and parks) with varied amounts of allowed activities and protections can help conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities. MPAs can also provide scientific reference points to assist with resource management decisions, and protect a variety of marine habitats, communities, and ecosystems for their economic and intrinsic value, for generations to come.


MARIN MPA WATCH

Marin MPA Watch is currently training volunteers to monitor Point Reyes State Marine Reserve (Drakes Beach), Estero de Limantor State Marine Reserve, Point Reyes Headlands Special Closure, and Duxbury Reef State Marine Conservation Area.

Most of the Marin MPAs are located in the North Central Coast Region.  The north central coast region was the second of the regions to establish a network of MPAs. This region of our coast protects some of the most biodiverse marine environments of California in areas such as the Point Reyes Peninsula, Bodega Bay headlands, and the tidepools of Montara and Gerstle Cove. Within the region, 25 MPAs and 6 special closure areas were designated from Alder Creek near Point Arena in the north to Pigeon Point in the south. These MPAs represent approximately 153 square miles (20.1%) of state waters in the north central coast region with approximately 86 square miles (11%) designated as "no take" state marine reserves. These MPAs went into effect in 2010.

Point reyes, state marine reserve

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.  Click here for more information about Point Reyes State Marine Reserve.

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.  Click here for more information about Point Reyes State Marine Reserve.

ESTERO DE LIMANTOUR, state marine reserve

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.  Click here for more information about Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve

DUXBURY REEF, STATE MARINE CONSERVATION AREA

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish from shore and abalone.  Click here for more information on Duxbury Reef, State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish from shore and abalone.  Click here for more information on Duxbury Reef, State Marine Conservation Area

POINT REYES HEADLANDS, SPECIAL CLOSURE

Special restrictions on boating and access apply, special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 1,000 feet seaward.  No person except department employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or United States Coast Guard shall enter this area at any time.  Click here for more information.

Special restrictions on boating and access apply, special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 1,000 feet seaward.  No person except department employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or United States Coast Guard shall enter this area at any time.  Click here for more information.

CORTE MADERA MARSH, STATE MARINE PARK

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational hook and line take of finfish from shore.  Take of all marine aquatic plants is prohibited.  Only lightweight, hand-carried boats may be launched or operated within the park. Swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the park.  Click here for more information and maps of Corte Madera State Marine Park.

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational hook and line take of finfish from shore.  Take of all marine aquatic plants is prohibited.  Only lightweight, hand-carried boats may be launched or operated within the park. Swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the park.  Click here for more information and maps of Corte Madera State Marine Park.

POINT resistance rock, special closure

Special restrictions on boating and access apply, special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward.  No person except department employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or United States Coast Guard shall enter this area at any time.  Click here for more information.

double point/stormy stack, special closure

Special restrictions on boating and access apply, special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward.  No person except department employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or United States Coast Guard shall enter this area at any time.  Click here for more information.

MARIN ISLANDS, STATE MARINE PARK

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational hook and line take of species other than marine aquatic plants from shore only. Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the park.  Click here for information and maps of Marin Islands State Marine Reserve.

PUBLIC POLL ON MPAS

A 2017 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) on Californians and the Environmentfound:

  • 95% say condition of coast is important to the economy and quality of life in CA
  • 93% say condition of the coast personally important to them
  • Support for oil drilling at record low (only 25% support) and has fallen by 11 percentage points since July 2016.
  • In contrast, 73% of Californians are in favor of wind power and wave energy projects off the state’s coast, while 19% are opposed.
  • 78% support going to 100% renewables by 2045.

The PPIC poll includes a specific MPA question for the first time since 2006 poll. Note that 2006 was prior to adoption of new MPAs under the MLPA Initiative. In 2006, total support for MPAs was already very high at 75%.

The poll released last night asked the following question:

'Next, Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, are managed by the California State Fish and Game Commission to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat in coastal waters. Do you think it is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all that California has Marine Protected Areas?"

  • 77% very important
  • 18% somewhat important
  • 2% not too important
  • 1% not important at all

A total of 95% of those polled responded that MPAs are important to California – a full 20 point increase over 2006. And a testament to all the great work being done by you and your organizations to promote and steward California’s MPA network. Great to share these results far and wide with your networks.