In 2012, California became the first state in the nation to establish a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) – similar to national parks and forests on land – to protect and restore ocean habitats, and increase the health, productivity and resilience of ocean ecosystems.

This resulted from 1999’s California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) For the implementation phase of the MLPA, California’s 1,100-mile coastline was divided into five regions. In each region, local stakeholders, scientists and policy experts worked together to decide how best to create that area’s MPAs, ultimately creating over 120 underwater refuges along California’s coast from the Oregon border to Mexico. Surfrider Foundation was an integral part of the process throughout.

California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife links:

Marine Life Protection Act

Northern California Marine Protected Areas

Map of Northern California MPAs

North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group

North Coast MPA News:

Humboldt Teems with Recreationally Friendly MPAs

California Creates Globally Significant Network of Marine Protected Areas

United Front

An Aerial Tour of Your Marine Protected Areas and More

Tidepooling in MPAs

MARE Splashes into Ocean Night

North Coast Marine Protected Areas Adopted

Marine Protected Areas Go Live Next Week

North Coast “Underwater Parks” In Effect Today

Happy Birthday North Coast Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas One Year In

Little Fish Big WinnersCreating a Marine Reserve Snapshot

Kayaking in Humboldt Bay’s Marine Protected Area

North Coast Projects:

Ocean Spaces – North Coast

Marine Protected Area Monitoring Launches in North Coast

Statewide Highlights:

9 Great California Coastal Birding Sites

Top 10 Dive Spots in California’s “Underwater Parks”