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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

September, 2006

 


Fish and Game Commission Moves Forward With Proposal to Create Network of Marine Protected Areas Along Central Coast

MONTEREY - The California Fish and Game Commission has voted to select a preferred proposal for a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) along California's central coast, from Pigeon Point to Point Conception. The proposal includes more than two dozen MPAs covering more than 200 square miles of state waters in the central coast region.
Michael Flores, president of the Fish and Game Commission, released the following statement:

"This network is the first of its kind in California. This is an historic, precedent-setting step in protecting California's coast and we're pleased that so many stakeholder groups and members of the public chose to participate in this complex process and work toward a balanced alternative. The Commission's preferred proposal will serve as a model for future conservation efforts and as a legacy in protecting our coastline."

The selected proposal includes 29 MPAs representing approximately 204 square miles (or 18 percent) of state waters along the central coast. Approximately 8 percent of this total area (94 square miles) is proposed to be designated as state marine reserves (no take) while the remainder would allow some form of recreational and/or commercial fishing.

Before the proposed MPAs take effect, the Commission's selected proposal and alternatives must undergo California Environmental Quality Act review and regulations must be promulgated. Both processes will include additional public hearings.

About the MLPA:
The MLPA directs the state to design and manage a network of MPAs through a comprehensive program and management plan. Its primary goals are to protect marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems and marine natural heritage, as well as improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems. Marine protected areas include state marine reserves, state marine parks and state marine conservation areas. For more information on the MLPA visit

www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa.


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