**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.