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The MPA Collaborative Network Quarterly Bulletin brings you California MPA news from local MPA Collaboratives, organizations working across the state in MPAs, and the MPA Management Program.

Spring 2021
Volume 6, Issue 1

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In this issue (click links to jump to the section):

Your help is needed to assess the effectiveness of regulatory brochures in increasing awareness of California MPAs

The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF) is inviting you to participate in a research project that is designed to assess the effectiveness of marine protected area (MPA) informational brochures in increasing awareness of MPAs. The information will be used to inform future outreach efforts meant to increase awareness and understanding of California’s network of MPAs.

You can contribute to this research by either participating in a 10-minute survey or a 20-minute interview. Your input and feedback is greatly valued. If you are interested in participating in the survey, please use this link. If you are interested in participating in an interview, please email Katelyn Sprofera, CMSF Communications Manager, at

New video highlights the MPA Collaborative Network's mini-ROV program
Dive in with the MPA Collaborative Network in this video created by MPA CN graduate student intern Josue Martinez Garcia. 
Mark your calendars for Snapshot Cal Coast 2021 and help scientists understand climate change on California's coast

Snapshot Cal Coast, an annual California statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity, will be June 11th - June 30th. Continue reading to learn how to get involved...

Dr. Gio Rapacciuolo with the California Academy of Sciences has built a new tool that enables people to help scientists understand and keep a close eye on the places most vulnerable to projected climate change. Continue reading to learn how you can contribute...
Crowdsourcing knowledge of California's coastal areas most vulnerable to climate change - a video of how the new projected climate change reporting tool works. 
California State Parks to contribute audio recordings of MPAs to the Sounds of Your Park initiative

The California State Parks MPA Outreach and Education team is leading the way with a new project to help K-12 students and the public forge deeper, more meaningful connections with California’s MPAs. With support from Parks California, PORTS Program has purchased the equipment to capture high-quality audio recordings of California State Parks featuring adjacent MPAs. Continue reading...
MPA Watch 2020 annual reports are available
MPA Watch annual reports for the period starting January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 are now available on the MPA Watch website. You may access them by clicking here. Customized reports are available by contacting the MPA Watch manager for the region you are interested in, or by contacting the statewide coordinator at
Image showing audio equipment on a rock by the water.
Testing the new 360° audio capture equipment at Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) in Cardiff State Beach. Photo credit: Erika Delemarre.
MPA social media campaign update and scripted MPA presentations for coastal counties available soon

The sixth and final content packet for the California Marine Protected Areas Social Media Campaign is now available! Please join the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF) by posting once a week, using the hashtag #CalifMPAs or #CaliforniaMPAs. Additionally, the scripted MPA PowerPoint trainings for all counties are nearing completion and will be available in the coming months. Continue reading for more information about both projects...
Image of title slide of San Diego presentation.
Preview of a scripted PowerPoint training focused on San Diego County. Photo credit: CMSF.
World Ocean Day resources

World Ocean Day, on June 8th, unites and rallies the world to protect and restore our blue planet. Powered by the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, the day-long celebration supports collaborative conservation, working with its global network of youth and organizational leaders in over 140 countries. Continue reading for free and customizable promotional and actionable resources...
Understanding underwater noise in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Within the cacophony of the ocean “soundscape,” there is singing and chattering of marine mammals, the steady thrum of propellers from transiting container ships, and even the pitter patter of rain on the ocean’s surface. SanctSound scientists record and listen to sounds year-round in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary using a network of hydrophones or underwater microphones. Continue reading... 
Image showing "Happy World Ocean Day" in different languages.

MPA Management Program Updates

CDFW Logo OPC logo FGC logo  
What is the MPA Management Program?

Outreach and Education

CDFW Marine Management News: MPA Collaborative series wraps-up with Catalina Island

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has finished the final installment of the MPA Collaborative series posted to their Marine Management News page. The final installment highlights the Catalina Island MPA Collaborative. All 13 previous stories can be searched for on the Marine Management News page within the “MPA News” category. In addition, the first three newsletters in this series were originally published in PDF format, so they have been updated and re-published and are available at the following links: MPA Collaborative Network OverviewSan Diego CollaborativeSan Mateo Collaborative.
CDFW responds to increased tidepool visitation with new materials and signage

COVID-19 resulted in a loss of income for many Californians and forced many to seek new outdoor recreational activities. This led to a significant increase in people visiting tidepools and beaches and harvesting animals along the coast, which in turn led to public concerns for marine resources. CDFW observed an extreme increase in tidepool visitation and collecting. Unfortunately, many tidepoolers did not know or follow take regulations. For example, in one Southern California location, wildlife officers issued 130 citations between March and October 2020 for tidepool take violations. Fewer than 10 citations were issued in the same area in 2019. In response, CDFW’s Marine Region worked with partners to create several new materials to educate the public about intertidal harvesting regulations, including flyers, posters, and new permanent signage. To date, over 100 posters and almost 50 metal signs have been distributed to partner agencies and organizations throughout the state for posting near tidepools to educate the public and help reduce unintentional violations in key intertidal areas.
Image of tidepool collecting regulatory sign on coast.
Image of tidepool collecting regulatory signage on cost.
Signage advising of tidepool collecting regulations at popular destinations in Los Angeles County (left) and San Mateo County (right). Photo credit: CDFW.

Research and Monitoring

Ocean Protection Council approves over $5 million to support MPA long-term monitoring and data analysis

The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) approved $5,805,500 to support marine protected area (MPA) long-term monitoring and data analysis in support of the 2022 adaptive management review (staff rec). These projects will identify data gaps within the current monitoring framework in the nearterm to inform the decadal review, as well as provide recommendations for the future of MPA monitoring and performance evaluation beyond the 2022 review. Together, these efforts will provide the state with critical information on MPA performance that will inform adaptive management of California’s MPAs into the future, helping to ensure a successful management review of the MPA network in 2022 and contributing to broader state priorities such as sustainable fisheries and climate resilience.
California Sea Grant web page provides quick access to MPA research and monitoring information

Are marine protected areas working? In order to understand whether marine protected areas (MPAs) are doing their job protecting our oceans, we have to monitor them. Just as a doctor may measure your heartbeat or blood pressure, researchers measure ocean chemistry, temperatures and the abundance and locations of different species to determine whether ocean ecosystems are healthy, how they are changing, and how MPAs are working to protect the health of the ocean. Continue reading for more information and resources...

Policy and Permitting

Bull kelp working group launched

In December, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted the first Bull Kelp Working Group (BKWG) meeting. The BKWG process is part of the ongoing effort by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Game Commission to review and consider changes for the commercial harvest of marine algae. The aim of the BKWG is to collaboratively develop potential regulatory changes to manage commercial bull kelp harvest that will consider a regional approach and specific harvest methods and data needs. Continue reading...

CNRA nature-based solutions and 30 by 30 virtual regional workshops

Starting April 20, 2021, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) began hosting a series a public meetings to solicit input on meeting the State’s commitment to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 and accelerate nature-based solutions to address climate change. Continue reading for more information and registration info... 

Enforcement and Compliance

MPA Compliance Initiative update: Community Compliance Forum reports now available 

The Community Compliance Forums are complete for all 14 Collaboratives! Over 500 community members participated, resulting in over 2,200 compliance concerns and solutions mentioned during and after the Forums. Please visit our Project Library to see all the reports. Continue reading for more Compliance Initiative information and updates...

CDFW Marine Region Year In Review: 2020 reports available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Marine Region extends along the entire California coastline from border to border and approximately three nautical miles out to sea, including offshore islands. Through development of specific projects, staff provide for fisheries and habitat management, environmental review, and water quality monitoring statewide. The annual review documents provide an overview of each year's activities. Continue reading for 2020 reports...
Image of Statewide Compliance Forum Report cover.
Image of Marine Region 2020 Year in Review cover.

Science Spotlights

Beach environmental etiquette: Assessing public awareness of marine reserves on the central coast of California

For protected areas to achieve their conservation goals, visitors should be aware of reserve boundaries and follow the protective measures within them. Continue reading...
Evidence that spillover from Marine Protected Areas benefits the spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) fishery in southern California

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designed to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some MPAs are also established to benefit fisheries through increased egg and larval production, or the spillover of mobile juveniles and adults. Continue reading...
Rare coral-like algae, rhodoliths build habitat on the ocean floor

Two Harbors and Avalon Harbor [on Catalina Island] teem with boats, especially in the summer months, when ferries and private boats frequent the island, the most accessible in California’s Channel Islands, only 60 minutes by express ferry from Long Beach. Recent research shows that these semi-protected harbors are the perfect habitat for rare coral-like red algae known as rhodoliths. Continue reading...
Image of organisms in rhodolith beds.
Rhodolith beds are home to many organisms – Left: a sea slug (Aplysia californica), middle, a juvenile horn shark, and right, a pike blenny (Photos: Diana Steller - left, Scott Gabara, center, right)

Funding Opportunities

California Grants Portal

The California Grants Portal (a project by the California State Library) is your one destination to find all grants and loans offered on a competitive or first-come basis by California state agencies.
California Plastic Crisis: Impacts and Solutions at Home and Beyond - 4 Part Series
May 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm

Catalina Island MPA Collaborative Meeting
May 6, 2021, 2:00-4:00 pm

OCMPAC Continuing Education Workshop
May 8, 2021, 9:00-10:30 am

Fish and Game Commission Meeting
May 11, 2021, 9:15 am

Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting
May 11, 2021, no earlier than 10:30 am

UCI Diving Deep: Dialogues on Environmental Justice (3 Sessions)
May 18, 20, and 25, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm
World Ocean Day - check for events near you or online
June 8, 2021 

Snapshot Cal Coast
June 11-30, 2021

Ocean Protection Council Meeting
June 15, 2021, 1:00-4:00 pm

San Diego County MPA Collaborative Meeting
July 23, 2021, 1:00-3:00 pm

Event details subject to change. Check the organization's website for updates.

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