**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>

On October 27th 2016, the MPA Collaborative Network convened over 100 leading ocean experts to discuss Central Coast MPAs at Asilomar Lodge.

Resources Secretary John Laird announced a $294,000 grant to fund collaborative projects and a statewide charter to the impressive audience, which included scientists, NGOs, agencies and stakeholders that are monitoring, enforcing and raising awareness of MPAs. Still, MPAs have a relatively low profile – and Laird hinted at the work that lies ahead. “I don’t think other people understand how big this is and what we’ve done,” he said.   

Read the full blog post here, and the Monterey Herald’s article on the forum here.