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”

Webinar: Discussion of Proposed Draft Commercial Kelp and Other Marine Algae Regulatory Changes

Macrocystis pyriferal
Top view of Macrocystis pyrifera
CDFW photo by R. Flores Miller

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting a webinar to discuss the commercial harvest of wild kelp and other marine algae, including proposed draft regulatory changes, supporting data, and results from a commercial harvester survey. All interested parties are invited to join.

The webinar will be on June 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Use the following link and call-in information to participate in the webinar:

Porphyra Pyropia
Porphyra/ Pyropia species
CDFW photo by R. Flores Miller

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 916-535-0984   United States, Sacramento (Toll)

Conference ID: 949 545 937#

If you have any questions please contact Rebecca Flores Miller, Environmental Scientist, by email Rebecca.FloresMiller@wildlife.ca.gov.  Please email any comments or feedback to kelp@wildlife.ca.gov.


post by Rebecca Flores Miller, CDFW Environmental Scientist

Draft Aquaculture Informational Report to be Presented to the Marine Resources Committee on March 17

Aquaculture operations
Aquaculture operations. CDFW photo

In 2006, the State enacted Senate Bill 201 which requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in consultation with the Aquaculture Development Committee, to “prepare programmatic environmental impact reports (PEIRs) for existing and potential commercial aquaculture operations in both coastal and inland areas of the state [if certain conditions are met]…”. Due to the complexities of this legislation, a draft PEIR has not yet been published as CDFW continues to work towards determination of an appropriate path forward in both the design and implementation of a management framework for existing aquaculture operations and potential future operations.

As a step toward providing a common understanding of existing marine aquaculture activities in the State, the potential impacts of those activities, and future considerations of expansion, CDFW has developed a draft informational report on commercial marine aquaculture in California. Building off the extensive body of work that was developed for previous versions of the PEIR, the report describes the primary marine aquaculture species and culture methods currently approved, a summary of environmental settings and potential impacts, the current management context including primary policies and management authorities, and expected opportunities and challenges facing the future development and management of commercial marine aquaculture.

The draft report will be presented to the California Fish and Game Commission’s (Commission) Marine Resources Committee on March 17, and CDFW is recommending it be submitted to the Commission at their April 15-16, 2020 meeting to provide a foundation for public discussion around current and future commercial marine aquaculture in California.


post by Kathryn Johnson, CDFW Environmental Scientist

Environmental Disaster Continues to Decimate Bull Kelp Forests and Red Abalone Populations in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has monitored northern California kelp forest ecosystems and red abalone populations for the past 20 years. Surveys completed in the summer of 2018 continued to document mass abalone starvation and population collapse. Continue reading “Environmental Disaster Continues to Decimate Bull Kelp Forests and Red Abalone Populations in Northern California”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area and Ten Mile State Marine Reserve

Winding along Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg takes you through coastal plains, patches of forest, and hidden dunes, with a glimpse of the ocean from time to time. As you approach the bridge that crosses Ten Mile River, the scenery suddenly opens up to a panoramic view of ocean and estuary in an area known simply as Ten Mile.

Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area and Ten Mile State Marine Reserve”