Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, North Coast Marine Protected Areas

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge california_north_coast_marine_protected_areas.jpg

correspondent Jennifer Savage sends us this friendly reminder that today, Dec. 19, is the first-year anniversary of our North Coast Marine Protected Areas, part of a statewide network of underground "parks" where a variety of protections aim to conserve habitats, critters, fish, plants and cultural resources.

The North Coast MPAs are in state waters between the California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena. You can read the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's handy guide here. They came about through the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act — yep, it was a long haul to form all of these MPAs up and down the California coast, and our Northern California one's were the last to be developed following intensive, oft-contentious sessions with a multitude of stakeholders including fishermen, tribes, biologists and more. Savage played a key role in the process.

Here, we'll let her spread the celebratory news:

Cal Oceans Alerts
…A Healthy Holiday Haul of MPA News

Happy Anniversary, California MPAs
The nation’s first statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) turns one year old on December 19th, which also marks the anniversary of our North Coast MPAs. As such, this month’sICYMI features a raft of attention received by our underwater park system on its first birthday. First stop, Ocean Conservancy’s anniversary blog, which rounds up all our favorite and most adventurous reasons to celebrate California’s MPAs. The San Francisco Chronicle commemorated the anniversary, too, posting a spectacular MPA photo slideshow on their website with some of our favorite scenes from these “underwater parks.”

New Video Features Year-Round Fun in California’s MPAs
How do you MPA? Check out this short and fun-filled video hitting NatGeo and other online sources this week. This one-minute film presents a light-hearted tour of the MPA-studded California coast, with folks enjoying an array of recreational activities enhanced by the wildlife protection MPAs provide. If you love it as much as we do and have ideas for getting it out to wider audiences—like visitor centers, aquaria or travel sites—we’d love to hear from you.

Everybody’s Gone Surfin’, Surfin MPA…
Our friends at, California’s largest tourism site, ran this great piece detailing the surf breaks available for the wildlife-loving surfer. It has a nice write-up on the value of MPAs, explains why protected areas make for great surfing, and details a selection of the best protected surf breaks along the coast of California.

National MPA Report Looks to California to Connect the Dots
A National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration report on the state of marine protected areas in the United States went public a couple of weeks back, looking at progress in conserving the nation’s natural and cultural coastal heritage. California’s success on that score is detailed in a two page spread starting on page 4 that reads like a recipe for the rest of the nation.

Finally, a personal note. My tenure with Ocean Conservancy ends along with 2013. It's been a great four years serving as your North Coast Coodinator and I'm optimistic about continuing my coastal advocacy through the Northcoast Enviromental Center, as well as by being the new co-host for KHUM 104.7 FM's Coastal Currents program each Wednesday at noon. Please feel free to contact me regarding any ocean issues at [email protected] in the future.

Happy holidays!
Jennifer Savage

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About The Author

Heidi Walters

Heidi Walters worked as a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2005 to 2015.

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