Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area

The sandy beach and rocky shoreline at Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area  CDFW photo by A. Van Diggelen

“That’s a marine protected area, you can’t fish there!”

Actually, in over half of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), you can. Continue reading

2016 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas Adopted

FINAL_August_2016The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce the adoption of the 2016 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas by the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) at their August 24 meeting in Folsom, California.

California is home to the largest scientifically designed network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States, comprising a total of 124 MPAs and 15 special closures which protect about 16 percent of state waters (approximately 9.6 percent in no-take MPAs). This accomplishment was the result of the California Legislature passing the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) in 1999. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Lobos State Marine Reserve

One stretch of coastline in Central California is so picturesque that it is considered by some to be “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.”  This area, filled with amazing hiking trails, abundant marine life, and unparalleled scuba diving, is just a short drive south of the Monterey Peninsula. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Castle Rock Special Closure

Castle Rock
Castle Rock’s mere 14 acres hosts thousands of seabirds every year.    photo by S. Harris, USFWS

As a surfer in northern California, I get to enjoy spectacular views of the California coastline. In between waves, there are times when I look around in awe at the scenery – geometric rock outcroppings, softened by endless treetops, further improved by chance sightings of curious wildlife. Of all the beautiful spots in northern California, one of my favorites is special to more creatures than just surfers – Castle Rock Special Closure. Continue reading