**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
As the upcoming Fish and Game Commission meeting on April 27, 2017 marks the close of the initial phase of South Coast MPA monitoring, we would like to extend a most sincere thank you to the local ocean community who were interested, involved, and engaged in collecting and sharing baseline information in the region.
It is hard to believe it’s been over a month since the State of the California South Coast report was released. Since that time, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Ocean Protection Council, and Ocean Science Trust have had the pleasure of connecting with hundreds of people interested in learning about the status of MPA monitoring in the South Coast, including how baseline information will contribute to long-term monitoring and inform management.
As a follow-up to the five South Coast Community Gatherings that were held from March 20-24, 2017, we have developed a summary of key themes expressed by those who attended the community gatherings, as well as input received during informal, small group discussions held with local tribal leaders, commercial and recreational fishermen, local governments, and others. You can find the key themes summary and gain access to the presentations, videos, and other related materials shared during the community gatherings via the State of the Region page on OceanSpaces. Also, be sure to check out our final two Snapshot Reports: Monitoring California’s Channel Islands and Monitoring the South Coast with Citizen Science.
As the South Coast regional baseline reaches completion, California is designing and implementing Phase 2 of the Statewide MPA Monitoring Program (long-term monitoring). The state has committed an annual allotment of $2.5 million for Phase 2, which began in 2016. This next phase will build on the local knowledge, capacity, and unique considerations for each region, including the South Coast. We look forward to sharing a Statewide MPA Monitoring Action Plan that will provide more details on the state’s approach to Phase 2, which is due for release in Spring 2018.
Questions? Need for additional information? We invite you to reach out to the South Coast Management Team directly:
California Ocean Science Trust
For questions about MPA monitoring, and interests in sharing local knowledge to inform monitoring.
Department of Fish and Wildlife
For questions about regulations, enforcement, and adaptive management of MPAs.
Marine Habitat Conservation Program Manager
Ocean Protection Council
For questions about policy and funding of the statewide MPA Management Program.
Marine Protected Areas Policy Advisor
California Sea Grant
For questions related to baseline program grant administration.