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

Point Reyes
Descend approximately 300 steps to the iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse to view Point Reyes State Marine Reserve.

Many recreational activities associated with marine protected areas (MPAs) require a visitor to at least get their feet wet, but Point Reyes State Marine Reserve (SMR) offers visitors the opportunity to view and enjoy a wide diversity of animals from shore, and a bathing suit isn’t even required! Continue reading

Draft 2015 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas Now Available Online

Master Plan coverThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce that the draft, updated 2015 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas (Master Plan) is now available on the CDFW website. Public comment is being accepted on the updated plan through the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) until Jan. 28, 2016.

CDFW will present the Master Plan to the Commission at their Dec. 9-10, 2015 meeting in San Diego. A discussion hearing is anticipated at the Commission’s February 2016 meeting, followed by possible adoption at the April 2016 meeting. Continue reading

Don’t Forget the Scientific Collecting Permit!

Researchers catalog biodiversity at Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area in northern California.

Did you know that a scientific collecting permit (SCP) may be required for non-lethal research or educational activities, such as installing scientific equipment or conducting docent-led tidepool surveys for school groups? In fact, nearly all research and many educational activities carried out in California marine waters, especially in marine protected areas (MPAs), require this permit. Continue reading