MLPA Goal 3 draft guidelines available for review and comment

Who: Interested members of the public

What: Invitation to review and comment on the Draft Guidelines to Assist Stakeholders in Addressing Goal 3 of the Marine Life Protection Act in the MLPA North Coast Study Region

When: Comments are requested no later than Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where: The document is available in two ways:

– Online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/goal3.asp.
(Direct link here)
– In print copy by contacting the MLPA Initiative office (MLPAOffice@resources.ca.gov or 916.654.1885)

How: Submit comments in one of the following ways by May 13, 2010:

1. Email to MLPAComments@resources.ca.gov

Subject: Comments on Goal 3 guidance document

2. Fax to 916.653.8102 (Attention: MLPA Initiative)
3. Postal service to MLPA Initiative
c/o California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814


Additional Details

The California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative has recently assessed the guidance and evaluation methods for addressing Goal 3 of the MLPA in the MLPA North Coast Study Region:

Goal 3: To improve recreational, educational, and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems that are subject to minimal human disturbance, and to manage these uses in a manner consistent with protecting biodiversity. (California Fish and Game Code, Section 2853)

Staff considered lessons learned from previous study regions in an effort to better align the Goal 3 evaluation with evaluations conducted by two state agencies, the California Department of Fish and Game and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. As a result of this assessment, staff has produced a Goal 3 guidance document (see attached) that outlines the key considerations when designing marine protected areas relative to Goal 3 and the expected evaluation approach. The guidance is not inconsistent with how Goal 3 has been addressed in previous study regions; it describes important elements of Goal 3 and clarifies how to address all the components of the goal in marine protected area planning.

North coast communities and members of the public are invited to review the Goal 3 guidance document and provide feedback. Public comments received by May 13 will be incorporated to the extent possible into a revised version of the guidance document.

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North Central Coast MPAs to Take Effect May 1

California Department of Fish and Game
Office of Communications, Education & Outreach
1807-13th Street, Suite 104
Sacramento, CA 95811

New Release

April 28, 2010

Contact: Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988
Annie Reisewitz, MLPA Initiative, (858) 228-0526
Jordan Traverso, Deputy Director/DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

North Central Coast Marine Protected Areas to Take Effect May 1

Twenty-one marine protected areas (MPAs) adopted last year by the California Fish and Game Commission will take effect May 1, 2010 along California*s north central coast. The new regulations are being implemented as part of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which requires that California reexamine and redesign its system of MPAs with the goal of increasing its effectiveness at protecting the state*s marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage.

Regulations for the north central coast MPAs, between Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County to Pigeon Point in San Mateo County, were adopted by the commission in August 2009 and approved by the Office of Administrative Law in April 2010.

In addition to the 21 MPAs, the new regulations include three state marine recreational management areas (SMRMAs) and six special closures, in total covering approximately 153 square miles (20.1 percent) of state waters in the study region. Approximately 86 square miles (11 percent) are designated as “no take” state marine reserves, while the remaining areas have different take allowances providing varying levels of protection.

Specific details about each MPA, SMRMA and special closure are available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/.

Statewide there are five MLPA study regions; the north central coast study region was the second to complete the MPA planning process. As mandated by the MLPA, the north central coast planning process (2007-2009) began by examining all existing MPAs within the study region and ultimately led to redesigning them into a new suite of MPAs. The MPAs for the north central coast will become part of a statewide network of MPAs once planning in all study regions is complete.

The north central coast MPAs were designed through a collaborative public process in which 45 members of a regional stakeholder group worked closely with a science advisory team, a blue ribbon task force, the California Department of Fish and Game, and MLPA Initiative staff and contractors to develop a set of MPA recommendations.

More information about the north central coast MPAs can be found on the MLPA Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/northcentralhome.asp.

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