Marine Protected Areas

California’s Marine Protected Area Network Decadal Management Review Report

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has released the first MPA Network Decadal Management Review report.

Visit our MPA Network Decadal Management Review webpage for more information about the report and the draft prioritized list of adaptative management recommendations.

Read the Review summaryA Decade of Ocean Conservation: Key Findings from the First Review of California’s Marine Protected Area Network.

California’s Marine Protected Area Network

In 2012, California completed a science-based, stakeholder-driven process to designate 124 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that cover 16% of state waters. The network consists of areas that have various levels of protection and include some reserves that prohibit all “take.” Just as our nation’s parks and wilderness areas protect special places on land, California’s MPAs protect a wide array of habitats, species, and special places underwater. Learn more…

Marine Protected Area Management Program

California’s MPA network was designed, based on sound science, to provide ecological benefits to marine habitats and species. In order to maximize these benefits, the state’s MPAs must be ecologically functioning as a network, which requires successful management. California recently adopted the Marine Life Protection Act Master Plan, which outlines the state’s MPA Management Program, and requires active engagement in four key focal areas. Click on the icons below to learn more and see our current projects in each area. Click the icons below to learn more…

Outreach & EducationResearch & MonitoringEnforcement & CompliancePolicy & Permitting

MPA Statewide Leadership Team

OPC focuses on supporting and informing MPA network management by breaking down traditional silos and creating novel partnerships and collaborations. The MPA Statewide Leadership Team is a key tool OPC uses to support effective management and is made up of state agencies and other partners that have significant authority to affect the statewide MPA network. Learn more…

California’s Global Leadership in Marine Protected Areas

California continues to implement novel and effective solutions to coast and ocean management challenges. California’s globally significant network of MPAs is a key element of that leadership including the currently underway process to join the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Green List for Protected and Conserved Areas. Learn more…

Marine Protected Area Network Key Documents

The management of the Marine Protected Area Network is guided by several key documents that define the management goals of the Network and the roles and responsibilities of managing agencies and partners. Learn more…

The OPC-SAT released two new working group reports in June, 2021. These reports will inform ongoing management of California’s marine protected area (MPA) network by providing scientific guidance to the State as California embarks on its first decadal management review of its MPA network as well as technical guidance on evaluating California’s MPAs as a tool for climate resilience:

Staff Contacts

Michael Esgro, Marine Ecosystems Program Manager