Showing all articles with tag: North Central Coast.
A California Superior Court ruled today to uphold the state’s landmark ocean conservation law, the Marine Life Protection Act. The judge ruled in favor of the California Fish and Game Commission, which created 22 marine protected areas from San Mateo to Mendocino County in 2010.
Today’s ruling denied Coastside Fishing Club’s petition to set aside 150 square miles of marine protected areas and upholds the state’s authority to safeguard California’s ocean habitat and wildlife through the adoption and implementation of new protected areas.
The Marine Life Protection Act was passed in 1999 and calls for a statewide network of marine protected areas, which have been proven throughout the world to improve the health of the ocean, restore sea life and habitat, and boost local fishing economies.
“This victory means that millions of visitors to northern California can continue to enjoy the new underwater parks that dot this coastline like a string of pearls,” said Karen Garrison, Co-Director of NRDC’s ocean program. “It’s good news for ocean life, and good for the region’s
recreation and tourism businesses.”
Despite a broad, inclusive process that incorporated input from diverse stakeholders who invested tens of thousands of hours into designing 150 square miles of marine protected areas, a challenge to
these important ocean safeguards was brought by Petitioners Coastside Fishing Club, United Anglers of Southern California and Bob Fletcher.
“This is a huge win for places like Point Reyes Headlands, the Farallon Islands and Montara
Marine Reserve, which can now continue to thrive,” said Samantha Murray of Ocean Conservancy. “The protections offered by California’s science-based marine protected area network will boost the health of the entire coastline, so today’s decision is not only legally correct, but also a critical win for the future of our ocean.”
A year ago today, California created a system of undersea parks that dots the coast between Pigeon Point in San Mateo County and Alder Creek near Mendocino. This network of protections includes coastal and offshore treasures like Pt. Reyes, Bodega Head, and the Farallon Islands. The Marine Life Protection Act also resulted in increased protections for beloved tidepool destination Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, where students, tourists and locals flock at low tides to see and learn about northern California's intertidal sea life.
Marine protected areas act like sanctuaries for ocean plants and animals, which have been shown to grow and multiply in the preserves, re-seeding surrounding waters and increased diversity and resilience. But they are also designed to enhance recreation, education, and research opportunities. And if Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, recently featured on KQED's Quest, is any indication, California is on the right track.
Happy anniversary to the north central coast marine protected areas, and our thanks to all of the divers, kayakers, fishermen, scientists, and conservationists that helped to shape this system of protections!
Ocean Conservancy's Samantha Murray and Bolinas fisherman Josh Churchman have been busy spreading the word about the North Central Coast's new ocean parks.
After driving the length of the north central coast study region and distributing maps and fliers illustrating the new regulations, they penned this opinion piece for Santa Rosa's Press Democrat.
You don't have to stop by your local bait shop to read about the latest regulations - download a full color flier with detailed coordinates and regulations established by the new north central coast MPAs, and check out detailed maps of San Mateo and Marin county's new MPAs.
We’ve been waiting a long time for this day, and it is finally upon us! Tomorrow, after over 2 years of hard work by a dedicated group of divers, fishermen, conservationists, and other local interests, the north central coast marine protected area system will go into effect, protecting iconic areas like Point Reyes Headlands, Bodega Head, the Farallon Islands, and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.
The new underwater parks will include about 86 square miles of fully protected marine reserves, along with other areas that will receive additional protections but where some fishing is allowed.
Three cheers for the hard working Regional Stakeholder Group that literally met for hundreds of hours to develop this plan. By protecting these special ocean “hot spots,” key feeding and breeding grounds, we’ve taken a great step forward in our efforts to ensure the long-term health and productivity of California’s ocean.
Now get out there and go see some of our new ocean parks. Here are a couple upcoming opportunities: guided tidepool explorations at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach and Duxbury Reef in Bolinas. Hope to see you there!
Today, California’s Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously to move ahead with plans to protect Point Reyes Headlands, Bodega Head, the Farallon Islands, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and other northern California ocean hot spots with a new network of underwater state parks.
Last August the Commission approved a marine protected area plan for state waters between Pigeon Point and Point Arena. The plan, designed by local stakeholders and based on the best available marine science, will set aside the region’s richest kelp forests, rocky reefs, and canyons to boost the health and productivity of the entire coastline. It will go into effect on May 1, 2010, and the Commission has already approved plans for university and citizen scientists to monitor the new protected areas to track their effectiveness.
The network includes 21 marine protected areas designed to protect the region’s most sensitive sea life and habitats while - leaving almost 90 percent of the coast open to fishing.
The Sacramento Bee editorialized about California's new ocean health plan over the weekend. The editorial applauded the State Fish and Game Commission for their leadership in passing this visionary marine protected areas plan, and noted "these new sanctuaries will serve generations of Californians."
The Bee went on the explain, "these near-shore sanctuaries will help rebuild delicate reefs and kelp forests," and "recovery will help all fishermen and people who like to observe without "taking" marine life – such as scuba divers, kayakers and schoolchildren examining tide pools."
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