CalOceans News

Marine Protected Areas Digest Volume III: Happy Oceans Month

June 10th, 2011

June was just declared National Oceans Month, and, of course, June 8 is World Oceans Day.  As the weather heats up and our thoughts turn to the coast, it’s a great time to celebrate the Big Blue and all it provides, from food and fun to fresh air and jobs. It’s also a time to take stock of ocean protection efforts and give a little something back.

Around the world, people are recognizing the importance of ocean protection for our own wellbeing, and a number of recent conferences have brought great minds together to discuss the best ways to keep our blue planet thriving:

•    The 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) in Vancouver focused on the worldwide advances being made towards adopting marine protected areas, including the work taking place in California through the Marine Life Protection Act. 

•    The 3rd annual Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC looked at opportunities to coordinate action on ocean protection.

•    The Blue Mind Symposium in San Francisco examined the connection between oceans and the human mind, looking for ways to tap our collective brainpower to advance stewardship efforts.

Marine Life Protection Act Update
Here in California, work continues to build a system of marine protected areas, or ocean parks, that will keep special places like South Cape Mendocino, Bodega Head, Point Lobos, and South La Jolla healthy and resilient, from land to sea.

The south coast parks, approved last December, will go into effect this fall.  We’ll let you know when the official opening date is announced, but you can learn more or get involved now by joining an MPA Watch program in Malibu or Santa Barbara, or stay tuned for news of similar programs starting up on your stretch of the coast. 

Work continues to plan protections for California’s far north coast, with the community’s landmark unified plan currently under review by the California Fish and Game Commission.

The central part of our coast is already dotted with undersea parks, which scientists are currently studying to monitor the recovery of local sea life, and uses by visitors and residents. To learn more about California’s existing marine protected areas, check out www.californiaMPAs.org,

And to stay informed up to the minute, consider becoming a fan of the ocean on Facebook or following ThePacificOcean on Twitter.

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