Phase 1: Regional Baseline Monitoring

California’s MPA network was implemented across four coastal regions: Central Coast (2007), North Central Coast (2010), South Coast (2012), and North Coast (2012).

At or near the time of MPA implementation in each of these regions, California launched Phase 1: regional baseline monitoring. Funded by the State through a $16 million investment ($4 million per region), baseline monitoring established a benchmark or characterization of ocean conditions and human activities, inside and outside MPAs, against which future changes can be measured.

This benchmark, combined with long-term monitoring, will provide California the information needed to better understand conditions and trends of marine species, habitats, and ecosystems inside and outside MPAs. This is a critical step in informing adaptive management of the MPA network to meet the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act (link is external). The benchmark will also provide an opportunity to inform fisheries management and to learn about the effects of climate change and pollution on California’s coastal ecosystems so managers can adapt resource management strategies accordingly.







Baseline Monitoring Partners