Orange County

MPA Council


The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC) is the state’s oldest MPA Collaborative, started in 1999. OCMPAC is a collaboration of city and county officials, institutional representatives, environmental advocates, academic faculty and nonprofit organization members. OCMPAC’s accomplishments have included county-wide signage, enforcement trainings, education programsresearch & monitoring, and teacher workshops. Based on their success, OCMPAC was used as a model for the development of the statewide network of Collaboratives. In addition to establishing programs for docent education, public outreach, and consistent enforcement, OCMPAC is actively engaged in a range of citizen science projects that monitor the health of Orange County’s MPAs.

Join the Collaborative Mailing List

A Model of Collaboration: The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council

This article is part of a series by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Management News featuring each of the MPA Collaboratives in the MPA Collaborative Network.

Exploring California's Marine Protected Areas

A series by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Management News exploring California’s MPAs. Recent articles featuring MPAs of Orange County are linked below.

Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and State Marine Conservation Area


In-Kind Contributions Evaluation

A project to quantify the value of services added by their MPA Collaborative. Completed in 2016. Published in 2019.

“This study illuminates the estimated contributions that entities are providing, without the requirement of a legal mandate, to further management of Orange County’s MPAs. This in-kind support enhances many aspects of effective MPA functioning, including scientific monitoring and research; outreach, education, and building compliance with MPA regulations; fundraising; and more.”

Guide to Tidepool Exploration in Orange County MPAs Brochure

This handy guide highlights some of the species that can be spotted within tidepools around Orange County. The guide also highlights best practices for tidepooling in order to have the lowest impact on this fragile and important habitat. 

Guide to Orange County MPAs Brochure

This brochure provides general information on marine protected areas, allowed take, a map of Orange County MPAs and more.

Mini-ROV Expeditions

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Members statewide are field-testing Trident mini-ROVs (remotely operated vehicles or underwater drones) in collaboration with SoFar Ocean, National Geographic and the S.E.E. Initiative. More information about Collaborative expeditions focusing on MPA outreach, compliance, and citizen science projects can be found on our Resources page.

Be sure to follow the Del Norte Expeditions below on National Geographics digital field journal platform, Open Explorer. 

OCMPAC Leadership Team

Ray Hiemstra


Associate Director of Programs, Orange County Coastkeeper


Lana Nguyen


Environmental Scientist, CA State Parks Orange Coast District

Fiscal Sponsor

This page was last updated 03/12/2020