The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop, and the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to adopt a master plan that guides the implementation of a Marine Life Protection Program to improve the design and management of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) to the extent possible, as a statewide network.
A draft Master Plan for MPAs was adopted by the Commission as a living document in February 2008 which guided the regional development of MPA proposals, and resulted in the completion of a science-based and stakeholder-driven, redesigned statewide network of MPAs in December 2012. The 2016 Master Plan for MPAs, adopted by the Commission in August, focuses on the shift from MPA design and planning to managing California’s redesigned MPA network to meet the goals of the MLPA. The 2016 Master Plan for MPAs was developed in close collaboration with the Commission, California Ocean Protection Council, and Ocean Science Trust, and with assistance from Blue Earth Consultants, LLC. Insightful input was also received from other state and federal agencies, California Tribes and Tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, many other organizations, and the general public.