2016 CDFW Aerial Kelp Canopy Survey Results Now Available Online

kelp canopy
Kelp depicted in Administrative Kelp Bed #208, White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area, in 2016. CDFW image

The results of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW’s) 2016 aerial kelp survey are now available online. The 2016 survey covered both the full California mainland coast and the Channel Islands in Southern California.

Comparisons of the 2015 kelp canopy and the 2016 survey results show that both the south coast mainland and the Channel Islands experienced a decrease in kelp in 2016. The south coast mainland had almost half the canopy level surveyed in 2015, whereas the 2016 kelp canopy in the central through north coast Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Arena State Marine Reserve and State Marine Conservation Area

lighthouse and reserve
Point Arena Lighthouse and Point Arena State Marine Reserve   photo by R. Win

Occasionally warm and sunny, but more often cool and shrouded in a layer of fog, the Point Arena headland is a uniquely beautiful and ecologically important site on California’s northern coast. Located five miles north of its namesake town and 150 miles north of San Francisco, the waters off Point Arena are part of a major upwelling zone Continue reading

Management Update for Southern California Marine Protected Areas

On April 27, 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) presented our five-year management review regarding the south coast marine protected areas (MPAs) alongside the State of the California South Coast report to the California Fish and Game Commission. At the Commission meeting, CDFW recommended that no regulatory changes be made at this time, Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area

Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) lies four miles offshore of the Monterey peninsula in central California. The SMCA was established following the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act in 1999, which mandated the redesign of California’s marine protected area (MPA) system into a cohesive network. Currently, only 14 of the 124 state MPAs protect deepwater, submarine canyon habitat; Portuguese Ledge SMCA was one of the first such MPAs to be established. Continue reading