MPA Decadal Management Review

Research with MPA banner in tidepools
Diver holds MPA banner in kelp forest
CDFW MPA outreach event
Divers holding MPA banner underwater

California reviews its Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network every 10 years to inform the MPA Management Program.

About the MPA Decadal Management Review

Deep water ocean scene with small fish, anemones, and basket starThe first Decadal Management Review (Review) will take place in 2022 and will serve as an update on the four pillars of the MPA Management Program:

  • Outreach and Education,
  • Research and Monitoring,
  • Enforcement and Compliance, and
  • Policy and Permitting

It will include corresponding evaluations of progress toward meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act.

The California Fish and Game Commission will receive this Review at their December 2022 meeting and decide whether to direct CDFW and its partners to pursue recommendations and identified next steps.

Informing the Decadal Management Review

The Review will include available sources of information about the MPA Network, including scientific assessments of ecological and socioeconomic data, MPA enforcement data, shared knowledge and data from California Tribes and Tribal Communities, and input from the broader ocean community.


Monitoring Data and AnalysisScuba diver in kelp forest

The Review will consider multiple sources of monitoring data, including projects funded by the State and projects conducted by partner agencies and organizations.

Sources include:

  • Regional baseline monitoring - established a comprehensive benchmark of ecological and socioeconomic conditions at or near the time of regional MPA implementation (2007-2018), which serves as a point of comparison against which future conditions can be measured;
  • Statewide long-term monitoring - builds on the knowledge, capacity, and needs informed by baseline monitoring and continues data collection in prioritized ecosystems and human uses;
  • Network connectivity models - the Review will consider overall connectivity of the Network especially in terms of larval dispersal, as determined by advanced computer modeling techniques;
  • Citizen and Community Science - these projects have played a role in MPA monitoring since MPA implementation, and their inclusion in the Review will depend upon program design and overall quality of data collected.

Science GuidanceUnderwater rocky reef with anemones, sea urchins, and sea stars

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Ocean Protection Council, in partnership with the Ocean Science Trust, convened the following science advisory working groups to provide input on the Review.

Working group roles and products:

  • MPA Decadal Evaluation Working Group - the report produced by this working group, Science Guidance for Evaluating California's MPA Network (PDF), provides a list of science-based performance evaluation questions and metrics, informed by the MPA Monitoring Action Plan and the MLPA goals, and will be utilized to detect trends and overall progress toward MLPA goals in 2022 and beyond;
  • MPAs and Climate Resilience - the report produced by this working group, Climate Resilience and California's MPA Network (PDF), details recommendations on how California's MPA Network could help buffer both ocean and human life from some effects of climate change;
  • The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis - this group is tasked with completing an integrative analysis of MPA monitoring data collected to date from multiple monitoring projects, across the state [report in development].

Opportunities for Public Participation

Man in audience raises handSign-up to CDFW's mailing list and the California Ocean Protection Council's mailing list to receive future updates.

For questions and/or comments about the Review or MPAs in general please contact us at MPAManagementReview@wildlife.ca.gov


Ocean users, including California Tribes, will be actively invited to provide perspectives on priorities, definitions of success, and the roles of communities in state management of the MPA Network. CDFW, in collaboration with the Ocean Protection Council, will host a number of public engagement events during 2021 and 2022 to share information about the Review and gather input.


Lingcod on top of colorful rocky reef habitatEvents

Upcoming Events

  • Public Symposium
    • Date: 2022, TBD
    • Highlighting the work and findings completed to date.

Past Events

  • Marine Resources Committee Webinar
    • Wednesday, 7/21/21
    • CDFW update on planning for the first Review of California's MPA Network in 2022.
    • Meeting summary [in development]

Tribal Involvement

Consultation

Guided by CDFW's Tribal Communication and Consultation Policy (PDF), an initial letter detailing the Review expectations was sent out in May 2021 to all federally recognized California Tribes and Tribal contacts identified by the Native American Heritage Commission for the project review area. The letter contained contact information for Tribes to contact the CDFW MPA Management project to discuss concerns or further needs to request formal consultation.


Tribal Management and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge

CDFW recognizes the significant benefits of increased Tribal engagement in MPA management. California Tribes first received funding to conduct a monitoring project as part of north coast baseline monitoring, and more recently have been funded to build a statewide Tribal Marine Stewards Network (PDF), rooted in shared priorities between Tribes and the State. This project aims to significantly advance California's efforts to support indigenous stewardship and adopt meaningful co-management measures.

Learn More

Underwater kelp forest with fishExplore the following documents and links to learn more about the Review and its components. Questions and comments can be submitted to MPAManagementReview@wildlife.ca.gov. To receive status updates on the Review please sign-up for MPA Management news updates.

Frequently Asked QuestionsCrabs and brittle stars on seafloor with squid egg cases

Below you will find answers to some popular questions regarding the Review. You can also contact MPAManagementReview@wildlife.ca.gov with any additional questions not addressed here:

When will the Review occur?

Preparation has already begun for the first Review, which will conclude in December 2022 when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife presents findings and recommendations for the Review to the California Fish and Game Commission.

Why is the Review set to occur every 10 years?

The 2016 Master Plan for MPAs requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a Review of the MPA Network every 10 years to inform the adaptive management process at the core of the MPA Management Program. Based on the best available science and lessons learned during regional MPA implementation, this 10-year review cycle was determined to be more biologically appropriate and administratively sustainable than the 5-year review cycle recommended by the 2008 Master Plan.

What will the Review entail?

The Review will focus on the four pillars of the MPA Management Program - Outreach & Education, Research & Monitoring, Enforcement & Compliance, and Policy & Permitting - and corresponding evaluations of progress towards the goals of the MLPA. The Review will consider all available sources of information about the MPA Network, including scientific assessments of ecological and socioeconomic monitoring results, MPA enforcement data, shared knowledge and data from California Tribes and Tribal Communities, and input from the broader ocean community.

What are the expected outcomes of the Review?

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will produce a final report, which it will present to the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) in December 2022. This informational presentation will not be an adoption hearing, nor is the FGC expected to take any immediate formal action at this meeting.

The Review final report and associated presentations will be publicly available, and will contain the following components:

  • An assessment of the MPA Network's progress toward MLPA goals;
  • A summary of knowledge gaps and opportunities for next steps;
  • A framework for translating performance evaluation results and knowledge gaps into management recommendations;
  • Specific adaptive management recommendations and next steps, framed within the four pillars of the MPA Management Program;
  • A summary of actions taken to engage Tribes and the ocean community and feedback received leading up to and during the Review, as well as future steps to follow up on feedback.

Will any significant changes to California's MPAs result from the Review?

It is too soon to say whether any significant changes will occur, and any changes will be at the discretion of the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC). The FGC will consider the content, findings, and recommendations presented in the Review and will decide whether to direct the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and implementation partners to pursue recommendations or next steps identified in the Review. Adaptive management recommendations presented in the Review will be informed by performance evaluation questions and metrics, Tribal input, and stakeholder input, and could include updates to objectives, management measures, enforcement efforts, and scientific guidelines to inform management decisions.

How can I stay up to date on MPA Management Activities leading up to the Review?

How is the Review related to the 30x30 Initiative?

Program Partners Roles and Responsibilities

As the lead managing agency for the California MPA Network the Department of Fish and Wildlife implements and enforces the regulations set by the California Fish and Game Commission, and works across all four focal areas of the MPA Management Program.

The California Fish and Game Commission is the primary decision-making authority for California’s MPA regulations and adopted the MPA Management Program and Master Plan for MPAs.

More information on the California Fish and Game Commission.

California Ocean Protection Council Logo

The Ocean Protection Council is the policy lead for California’s MPAs.

More information on the Ocean Protection Council.

The MPA Statewide Leadership Team (convened by the Ocean Protection Council in 2014) helps guide program activities and ensures communication, collaboration, and coordination among entities that have significant authority, mandates, or interests that relate to California’s MPA Network.

link opens in new tab or windowMore Information on the MPA Statewide Leadership Team.