Draft 2015 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas Now Available Online

Master Plan coverThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce that the draft, updated 2015 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas (Master Plan) is now available on the CDFW website. Public comment is being accepted on the updated plan through the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) until Jan. 28, 2016.

CDFW will present the Master Plan to the Commission at their Dec. 9-10, 2015 meeting in San Diego. A discussion hearing is anticipated at the Commission’s February 2016 meeting, followed by possible adoption at the April 2016 meeting.

The Master Plan was adopted by the Commission as a living document in January 2008. It guided the regional development of marine protected area (MPA) proposals, which resulted in the completion of a science-based, stakeholder-driven, redesigned, statewide network of MPAs in December 2012. The draft, updated 2015 Master Plan shifts the focus from MPA design and planning to managing California’s redesigned MPA network, to meet the goals of the California Marine Life Protection Act and the Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act . FGC logoThe latest draft of the Master Plan was developed in close collaboration with the Commission, California Ocean Protection Council, and Ocean Science Trust. CDFW has also solicited open communication with California tribal governments and tribes, including providing a preliminary draft to tribes upon request in September 2015.

The California Marine Life Protection Act requires CDFW to develop, and the Commission to adopt, a Master Plan that guides the implementation of a Marine Life Protection Program to improve the design and management of California’s MPAs, to the extent possible, as a statewide network.

The draft, updated Master Plan is also available on the Commission website. For more information about California’s MPAs, please visit CDFW’s California MPA website.

This post was updated on Dec. 11, 2015.

post by Adam Frimodig, CDFW Environmental Scientist