The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is excited to announce its new Marine Protected Area (MPA) mobile website. Now anglers, divers and other ocean users can look up current information about restricted areas and boundaries from smartphones and other portable Internet-enabled devices. This tool will be invaluable to marine enthusiasts of all kinds while they are on California’s ocean waters or shores.
“We think this site is a thing of genius,” said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This site will help immensely in our outreach efforts regarding the MPAs. And, it was created in-house, without any additional resources provided to our Information Technology Branch. This site is testament to the caliber and commitment of DFG employees.”
Located at www.dfg.ca.gov/m/MPA, the MPA mobile website allows the public to:
- Search for any current MPA by name, county or general area to find information about the MPA’s boundaries and regulations (the site will be updated as new MPAs go into effect, with no effect on the end user).
- Use an interactive map to locate any MPA and learn about its boundaries and regulations.
- Find and track the user’s current location using the GPS on a mobile device, locate the closest MPA(s) and determine whether or not the user is currently located within an MPA.
- Read a summary of regulations or complete regulations for any MPA.
Though some offshore areas may have spotty cell phone coverage, the website is expected to be extremely useful to anglers, boaters and others who plan to use or pass through MPA waters. Users can access the information from personal computers on land, as well as by smartphones, tablets and other portable Internet-enabled devices.
MPAs provide higher levels of protection to a variety of important California marine ecosystems. Recreational and commercial activity may be limited in these waters, including some areas that are designated as “no take,” where no fishing or collecting of any kind is allowed. California’s MPAs were created pursuant to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which was designed to better conserve marine resources for their long-term sustainability while also enhancing outdoor recreation and ocean research opportunities along the coast.