Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area

The Monterey Peninsula is famous for its scenic views and amazing wildlife. Along the coastline, in the city of Pacific Grove is a beautiful place that exemplifies these features called the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA). This marine protected area (MPA) is nestled between two other MPAs: Asilomar State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Lovers Point-Julia Platt SMR. These three MPAs are all part of California’s MPA Network of 124 MPAs that spans the entire coastline, and is managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The Pacific Grove Marine Gardens SMCA, as well as its neighboring MPAs, are encompassed within the larger federally managed Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area”

San Luis Obispo County MPA Collaborative

SLO Collaborative LogoDiverse marine habitats are a hallmark of California’s central coast region, from sandy beaches and dune landscapes, to expansive estuaries and dense kelp forests. Many are safeguarded by state marine protected areas (MPAs), which aim to protect the abundance of marine life, the habitats on which they depend, and the integrity of marine ecosystems. California is home to a statewide network of 124 ecologically-connected MPAs, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW works with many partners, including a grassroots organization called the MPA Collaborative Network to effectively manage this expansive Network. The Collaborative Network engages diverse stakeholders and empowers coastal communities to advance ocean stewardship on a local level. Continue reading “San Luis Obispo County MPA Collaborative”

World Oceans Day

CDFW MPA Banner underwater at the Blue Cavern Onshore SMCA
CDFW MPA banner in Blue Cavern Onshore State Marine Conservation Area giant kelp forest
CDFW photo by A. Van Diggelen

Many people know that we celebrate Earth Day on April 22. But did you know there is an international day that celebrates our world’s oceans? Officially recognized by the United Nations and celebrated every June 8 since 2008, World Oceans Day encourages us to come together to acknowledge the beauty and resources the oceans contribute to our everyday lives, as well as the importance of taking care of our global ocean.

For Californians, the spirit of World Oceans Day is already a big part of our state identity! Whether you want to hang ten while surfing in southern California, go whale watching in Monterey Bay, or grab a rod and license and catch a salmon in northern California, with around 1,100 miles of coastline, California is an ocean destination for residents and visitors alike! The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Marine Region is among the global leaders in innovative research and ocean resource management, which contributes to some of the most sustainable marine life populations in the world. Continue reading “World Oceans Day”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Cabrillo State Marine Reserve

Cabrillo SMR Coast
Cabrillo SMR at low tide
CDFW photo by C. Shen

If you’ve never been tidepooling, the Point Loma tidepools in San Diego are a good place to start. These tidepools lie within Cabrillo State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Cabrillo National Monument, just a short drive down the hill from the national monument’s main entrance and visitor center. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Cabrillo State Marine Reserve”

Sonoma County MPA Collaborative: Connecting Land and Sea

Sonoma MPA Collaborative Photo

Sonoma County offers some of California’s most iconic landscapes, from towering redwood trees to rolling hills blanketed by vineyards. The Sonoma coast is no exception, with sweeping views of crashing waves that shape the offshore, rocky sea stacks and mossy forests that extend nearly down to the water’s edge. There are 10 state marine protected areas (MPAs) along Sonoma’s coast that are a part of a larger statewide network of 124 MPAs, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). With such an extensive MPA Network, CDFW utilizes many partnerships to enhance network management activities. Among these core partners is a grassroots  organization called the MPA Collaborative Network, made up of 14 localized stakeholder groups individually known as Collaboratives. Continue reading “Sonoma County MPA Collaborative: Connecting Land and Sea”