South Point State Marine Reserve (SMR) and the federal South Point Marine Reserve (FMR) are situated off the southernmost point of Santa Rosa Island, the second largest of California’s Channel Islands. Where the SMR ends at three nautical miles from shore, the FMR continues offshore into federal waters within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Protecting more than 13 square miles of ocean habitat, the state marine protected area (MPA) is located where cold, nutrient-rich waters from the north meet warmer water from the south, and includes a moderately exposed rocky coast interspersed with isolated, sandy coves. Beneath the surface to depths of over 1,000 feet, the SMR's rocky reefs, sandy seafloor, kelp forests, and surfgrass beds protect an array of marine life including giant sea bass, California sheephead, and California spiny lobster. Highly migratory fish like tuna and mackerel are frequent visitors.
Although not out of reach to the public, visiting this MPA requires a three-hour boat ride from Ventura Harbor.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(107)California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(107)(opens in new tab)
Note: The state and federal marine reserves share identical regulations.
These facts are for the state marine reserve only.
MPA size: 13.08 square miles
Shoreline span: 3.8 miles
Depth range: 0 to 1,071 feet
- Rock: 1.95 square miles
- Sand/mud: 12.13 square miles