Marine Protected Area Long-Term Monitoring Reports Released

Hot off the presses! Results from the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network long-term monitoring programs are now available online in seven technical reports. These projects represent collaboration between California researchers, the Ocean Protection Council (OPC), California Sea Grant, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Reef Check divers swim along a transect. Photo credit: Helen Brierley.

California’s MPA Network is a global example of a stakeholder-driven process to connect 124 protected areas. After a decade since Network implementation, the State is in the process of evaluating the MPA Network and progress towards meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act. To prepare for this first-ever decadal management review of the MPA Management Program, OPC has invested significantly in both baseline and long-term monitoring projects to track changes in California’sMPA Network over time. These monitoring projects are only one component of the management review; CDFW will look to several other sources to inform the review report, including long-standing MPA partners and California Native American Tribes. The Decadal Management Review report will be released publicly in January 2023 and presented to the Fish and Game Commission in February 2023.

To stay informed about the decadal management review of California’s MPA Network, please visit CDFW’s Decadal Management Review webpage. If you have questions or would like to submit a comment about the Review, please contact the MPA Management Program.

Shorebirds and kelp wrack on a winter morning at Campus Point SMCA. Results of baseline beach surveys showed a clear connection between kelp wrack and the abundance and diversity of shorebirds— one potential example of a beneficial spillover effect resulting from California’s MPA system. Photo credit: David Hubbard.

Categories: Marine Protected Areas