|North Central Coast Marine Protected Areas to Take Effect May 1
Twenty-one marine protected areas (MPAs) adopted last year by the California Fish and Game Commission will take effect May 1, 2010 along California*s north central coast. The new regulations are being implemented as part of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which requires that California reexamine and redesign its system of MPAs with the goal of increasing its effectiveness at protecting the state*s marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage.
Regulations for the north central coast MPAs, between Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County to Pigeon Point in San Mateo County, were adopted by the commission in August 2009 and approved by the Office of Administrative Law in April 2010.
In addition to the 21 MPAs, the new regulations include three state marine recreational management areas (SMRMAs) and six special closures, in total covering approximately 153 square miles (20.1 percent) of state waters in the study region. Approximately 86 square miles (11 percent) are designated as "no take" state marine reserves, while the remaining areas have different take allowances providing varying levels of protection.
Specific details about each MPA, SMRMA and special closure are available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/.
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