Nineteen marine protected areas (MPAs) will become effective next month, completing the statewide network of MPAs in California’s coastal regions. The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is pleased to announce the new MPAs will go into effect on Dec. 19 in the north coast and that effective date is weeks earlier than expected.
The State Office of Administrative Law recently approved the north coast MPA regulations and boundaries adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) in June 2012. The Commission approved and adopted these regulations to create a suite of MPAs on the north coast between the California/Oregon border and Alder Creek, near Point Arena in Mendocino County. Developed pursuant to the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), this north coast network includes 19 MPAs, one State Marine Recreational Management Area and seven special closures, covering approximately 137 square miles of state waters and 13 percent of the region. The new MPAs include four of the five pre-existing MPAs on the north coast. The MPA at Punta Gorda (Punta Gorda State Marine Reserve) will be removed from the network.
A complete listing of all north coast MPAs, including detailed regulations and maps, can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/ncmpas_list.asp.
DFG’s MPA mobile website, located at www.dfg.ca.gov/m/MPA, will be updated on Dec. 19 to reflect the new MPAs going into effect. The mobile website allows the public to locate any current MPA boundaries and regulations by using an interactive map or searching by name, county or general area. A mobile device’s GPS can also be used to find and track a person’s current location relative to any MPA. In addition to the mobile website, boaters can view MPAs on nautical charts or other background maps by visiting MarineBIOS at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/gis/viewer.asp, DFG’s interactive online marine and coastal map viewer.
For more information on the north coast MPAs or the MLPA, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa.
Image courtesy California Department of Fish and Game