‘Tis the Season for Saltwater “Bugs” – California Spiny Lobster Season Opens Soon

Happy Autumn! For many of us, that means apple picking and pumpkin spice… everything! For both recreational and commercial fishermen along California’s southern coast, it signifies the start of spiny lobster fishing season. Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Saltwater “Bugs” – California Spiny Lobster Season Opens Soon”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: South Cape Mendocino State Marine Reserve, Sugarloaf Island Special Closure, and Steamboat Rock Special Closure

Although California is the most populous state in the United States, much of the coastal area north of San Francisco is undeveloped and provides the perfect escape for those seeking a bit of solitude. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: South Cape Mendocino State Marine Reserve, Sugarloaf Island Special Closure, and Steamboat Rock Special Closure”

ocean habitats

MPA Monitoring Webinar Series: Ask the Researcher

Mark your calendars, bring your questions, and join us this summer as we unpack the results of the state-funded marine protected areas (MPAs) long-term monitoring projects through an 8-part virtual webinar series!

Researchers from 24 universities, agencies and institutions across California worked closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to monitor key habitats both inside and outside of MPAs, including kelp forests, rocky reefs, rocky shores, estuaries, and sandy beaches. Continue reading “MPA Monitoring Webinar Series: Ask the Researcher”

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

Point Buchon State Marine Reserve and Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area as seen from the water.
photo by E. Johnston

Along the coast of San Luis Obispo County between Morro Bay and Pismo Beach lies a scenic and sparsely populated stretch of shoreline. In 2007, a portion of the undersea and tidal habitats off the coast was designated for protection from fishing as part of California’s network of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs). Point Buchon State Marine Reserve (SMR) protects all marine resources from take, starting at the mean high tide line and extending offshore. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Buchon State Marine Reserve and Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area

Overlooking Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area
Overlooking Saunders Reef SMCA
CDFW photo by S. Worden

From its gravel- and boulder-strewn shoreline, to the craggy bedrock of the intertidal that extends to an offshore reef and surrounding stands of bull kelp, Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a location prized for its highly complex, diverse, and productive habitats. Saunders Reef SMCA and its regulations were adopted in 2010 by the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) as part of California’s globally recognized Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network. It is one of the 124 marine protected areas (MPAs) established statewide from 2004 to 2012 during the implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area”