At or near the time of MPA implementation in each of the MPA regions, California launched Phase 1: regional baseline monitoring. The purpose of baseline monitoring is to establish a benchmark or characterization of ocean conditions and human activities, inside and outside MPAs, against which future changes can be measured. This benchmark, combined with long-term monitoring, will provide California the information needed to better understand conditions and trends of marine species, habitats, and ecosystems inside and outside MPAs. This is a critical step in informing adaptive management of the MPA network to meet the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act. The benchmark will also provide an opportunity to inform fisheries management and to learn about the effects of climate change and pollution on California’s coastal ecosystems so managers can adapt resource management strategies accordingly.
California MPAs Long-Term Monitoring:
Phase 2 of implementation involves statewide long-term monitoring. Long-term monitoring of California’s MPAs reflects current State priorities and management needs, and builds on the knowledge, capacity, and unique considerations developed for each region during Phase 1 (regional baseline monitoring). The Statewide MPA Monitoring Action Plan informs next steps for long-term monitoring by compiling work to date, as well as incorporating novel, quantitative, and expert informed approaches. The Action Plan prioritizes key measures and metrics, habitats, sites, species, human uses, and management questions to target for long-term monitoring and aid in the evaluation of the Network in meeting the goals of the MLPA. For more information, click here.
California Coastal Monitoring Dashboard: Use this interactive dashboard to explore who’s monitoring what, where along the California coast from Point Arena to the US-Mexico border. Data in the dashboard come from the results of the North Central, Central, and South Coast Monitoring Surveys.
Ocean Spaces MPA Monitoring: An inclusive online community built upon a foundation of rigorous scientific knowledge about the health of California ocean ecosystems and current ocean resource management initiatives. Ocean Spaces hosts a data archive, with all data collected by organizations participating in official state-funded MPA monitoring.
Marine Applied Research and Exploration: Partnering with state agencies and academic institutions, MARE has been conducting baseline and long-term monitoring surveys of the deep subtidal portions of California’s MPAs since 2003. Learn more about their work here.
MPA Long-term monitoring
In 2018, CDFW and OPC developed the MPA Monitoring Action Plan to inform next steps for long-term monitoring. The document prioritizes key measures and metrics to target for long-term monitoring, which will aid in the evaluation of the MPA Network in meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act.
A Decade of Protection- 10 Years of Change at there Channel Islands (PISCO): After ten years of monitoring within a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the northern Channel Islands, a new series of analyses show changes in subtidal rocky reef and kelp forest habitats. View here
Monitoring MPAs in Deep Water Off Central California–2007 IMPACT Submersible Baseline Survey:View here
Integration of California’s Marine Protected Areas — Review and Recommendations (Ocean Conservancy): The goal of this document is to capture MPA integration insights and lessons learned across key agencies and identify trends, examples and best practices used to assess project impacts and uphold MPA protections.
Establishing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks — Making It Happen (IUCN, 2008) This guide provides essential information to better understand the role of marine protected area networks to achieve marine conservation. It utilizes current scientific knowledge, institutional experience and global case studies to present the most relevant lessons in building resilient and functional networks. https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/mpanetworksmakingithappen_en.pdf
PPIC Statewide Survey- Californians and the Environment: As of Summer 2017, more than three in four Californians say it is very important that California have Marine Protected Areas. To view more, follow this link: http://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/s_717mbs.pdf
The mission of the California’s Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Initiative is to enhance MPA education through enduring partnerships to empower Californians to protect what they know and love.