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

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Laguna Beach SMR and SMCA. Also shown are Crystal Cove SMCA to the north, and Dana Point SMCA to the south. (click to enlarge)

The idyllic shoreline of Laguna Beach is made up of rocky headlands with towering cliffs, sandy beaches and a myriad of tide pools teeming with life. It is also home to one of the largest coastal “no-take” marine protected areas (MPAs) in southern California. Located adjacent to a densely populated city, the area is a popular attraction for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, beach walking and sun bathing. These popular activites make Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) two of the most visited MPAs in California’s statewide network.

Laguna Beach SMR and SMCA, along with 48 other MPAs along California’s southern coast, were established in 2012 to protect critical marine species and habitats, including intertidal tide pools Continue reading

California’s MPA Network: Long-Term Monitoring Begins, Baseline Monitoring Ends

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Fort Bragg Community Gathering
CDFW photo by L. Lopez

When California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) were implemented (central coast in 2007, north central coast in 2010, and south coast and north coast in 2012) each region sequentially entered the first phase of the MPA Monitoring Program. Phase 1, regional baseline monitoring, was funded through a $16 million voter-approved investment with $4 million allotted per region. Phase 2, statewide long-term monitoring, began in 2016 with the state committing Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area

Located off the northern California coast just south of the town of Mendocino, Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) encompasses a small, protected bay sheltered from north winds and large ocean swell. The bay is popular with freedivers, kayakers, scuba divers, and recreational anglers. Continue reading

2017-2018 Season Update for Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishing

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Dungeness crab in trap CDFW photo by C. Juhasz

The recreational Dungeness crab season is now under way, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind recreational crabbers about some recent changes in trap regulations.

Crabbers are able to use another trap owner’s traps with written permission and, new for this season, a trap owner can issue this permission electronically (for example, by email or text) to another person who uses their trap, provided the person’s GO ID number is marked Continue reading

North Coast Marine Protected Areas – State of the Region Report Now Available

reportThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce the release of the State of the California North Coast report, now available on Oceanspaces.org.

This report contains key information about the biological, ecological, oceanographic, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions around the time of marine protected area (MPA) implementation on California’s North Coast, a geographic region extending from the California-Oregon border south to Point Arena. From 2013 through 2017, 11 baseline projects across the North Coast collected data Continue reading