The Fish and Game Commission officially voted this week that October 1, 2011 will be the implementation date for the southern California Marine Protected Areas. For over two years the State, local stakeholders and other organizations have been working to create a network of MPAs that protect sea life and critical habitats at along the south coast region. Ecologically productive areas like Naples Reef, South La Jolla, Swamis and Point Dume are included in the plan. While the plan is comprehensive in securing vital habitat, it also leaves nearly 90 percent of the coast open for fishing.
After years of hard work and planning, it’s exciting to see these newly established MPAs go into effect—they help connect people to the wonders of the sea, and at the same time, improve over all ocean health. In the immediate future there will be several ways for citizens to get involved with local programs that are being developed. In the meantime, take a few minutes to read about the Oct 1 implementation date. and listen to an interview with a lead scientist from Scripps talking about the need for MPAs in southern California.