California’s Ocean Habitats: The Rocky Intertidal Zone

Imagine a mystical world revealed when the gravitational forces from glowing celestial orbs peel back watery waves, uncovering pools teeming with life. Jewel-toned, flower-like animals gently sway in the currents, waiting for their next meal to float by. Continue reading “California’s Ocean Habitats: The Rocky Intertidal Zone”

CDFW Prepares for MPA Network Review, New Informational Web Page Available

MPA Network graphic
click to enlarge

Have you heard the news that California’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs) is approaching its 10-year anniversary? Completed in 2012, the MPA Network will have its first Decadal Management Review in 2022. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners are currently preparing for the review, which will serve as an update on the four pillars of the MPA Management Program – including an evaluation of the MPA Network towards meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act. Continue reading “CDFW Prepares for MPA Network Review, New Informational Web Page Available”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Begg Rock State Marine Reserve

Begg Rock, a small pinnacle jutting up around 15 feet from the ocean’s surface, may not look like much to the passing eye, but below the surface its marine life is abundant. Located about eight miles northwest of San Nicolas Island and nearly 60 miles from the Southern California mainland, it is by definition “remote.” Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Begg Rock State Marine Reserve”

Just Released: Two Scientific Reports Informing Marine Protected Area Network Management and Evaluation

California’s network of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs), completed in 2012, is approaching its 10-year anniversary. This milestone will be recognized by an inaugural MPA Decadal Management Review in 2022. Continue reading “Just Released: Two Scientific Reports Informing Marine Protected Area Network Management and Evaluation”

California’s Ocean Habitats: Kelp Forests

harbor seal
Bountiful food in the kelp forest attracts marine mammals like this harbor seal in Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve
CDFW photo by M. Haggerty

Kelp forests provide countless ecosystem services, benefiting both marine species and landlubbers alike. They form the foundation of marine food webs, coastal economies, and Indigenous traditions. They protect juvenile fish from predation by providing nursery habitat, and coastlines from erosion by buffering wave energy. Continue reading “California’s Ocean Habitats: Kelp Forests”