California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central California Marine Protected Areas

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California's MPA Network

California's MPA network uses different marine managed area (MMA) classifications. These classifications are defined in the Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act (MMAIA), which is used to designate marine areas intended to protect, conserve, or otherwise manage a variety of resources and their uses including living marine resources and their habitats, scenic views, water quality, recreational values, and cultural or geological resources. MPAs are primarily intended to protect or conserve marine life and habitat, and are a subset of MMAs.

California's MPA network includes three MPA designations (State Marine Reserve, State Marine Conservation Area, and State Marine Park) and one additional MMA designation (State Marine Recreational Management Area); special closure areas, established by the Fish and Game Commission, are also managed within the California MPA network.

 

Updated October 1, 2014

Marine protected areas (MPAs) along the central California coast (Pigeon Point to Point Conception) have been in effect in state waters since September 21, 2007. State waters in this area cover approximately 1,144 square miles of ocean, estuary, and offshore rock/island waters.

The central coast network includes 29 new or modified areas (28 MPAs and one marine recreational management area), covering approximately 204 square miles or about 18 percent of the central coast. The following summarizes the designations managed within the central coast MPA network.

NumberTypeDescription
13
State Marine Reserve (SMR)An MPA designation that prohibits damage or take of all marine resources (living, geologic, or cultural) including recreational and commercial take
151
State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)An MPA designation that may allow some recreational and/or commercial take of marine resources (restrictions vary)
1
State Marine Recreational Management Area (SMRMA)A MMA designation that limits recreational and commercial take of marine resources while allowing for legal waterfowl hunting to occur; provides subtidal protection equivalent to an MPA (restrictions vary)

1Includes one SMCA/SMP. The California Fish and Game Commission designated Cambria SMCA, which was subsequently also adopted as Cambria State Marine Park (SMP) by the State Parks and Recreation Commission (August 2010) with the same boundaries and no change to regulations. Therefore, the Cambria SMCA has dual designation as SMCA/SMP.

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Cover: Brochure: California Marine Protected Areas - Central California  Cover: Guide to the Central California Marine Protected Areas

MPA Summaries and Maps

Note: Map Datum used is North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) and position format is in Degrees Minutes Decimal Minutes (DDD MM.MMM). Shown map boundaries are superceded by regulations published in Title 14, Section 632, California Code of Regulations.

Maps are presented for each MPA. JPG maps are low-resolution files that can be quickly viewed on most computers. PDF maps are higher-resolution files, providing greater detail and clarity.

  • Map of Adopted Central Coast MPAs (all): JPG | PDF

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and a distance of 200 feet seaward of mean lower low water between the following two points:

37° 10.00' N. lat. 122° 21.80' W. long.; and
37° 08.70' N. lat. 122° 21.00' W. long.

The area then continues southward bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

37° 08.70' N. lat. 122° 21.00' W. long.;
37° 04.70' N. lat. 122° 21.00' W. long.; and
37° 04.70' N. lat. 122° 16.20' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial take of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) by hand harvest only.

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line, the three nautical mile offshore boundary and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

37° 04.70' N. lat. 122° 16.20' W. long.;
37° 04.70' N. lat. 122° 21.00' W. long.;
37° 03.55' N. lat. 122° 21.00' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
37° 02.57' N. lat. 122° 19.10' W. long.; and
37° 02.57' N. lat. 122° 14.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  • Only the following species may be taken recreationally: giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) by hand harvest only, market squid, salmon, and, by hook-and-line from shore only, other finfish.
  • Only the following species may be taken commercially: giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) by hand harvest only, salmon, and market squid. Not more than five percent by weight of any commercial market squid catch landed or possessed shall be other incidentally taken species.

Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and a distance of 200 feet seaward of mean lower low water between the following two points:

36° 57.90' N. lat. 122° 07.65' W. long.; and
36° 57.00' N. lat. 122° 03.50' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Elkhorn Slough State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area includes the waters below mean high tide within Elkhorn Slough lying east of longitude 121° 46.40' W. and south of latitude 36° 50.50' N.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Elkhorn Slough State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area includes the waters below mean high tide within Elkhorn Slough east of the Highway 1 Bridge and west of longitude 121° 46.40' W.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  • Only the following species may be taken recreationally: finfish by hook-and-line only and clams. Clams may only be taken on the north shore of the slough in the area adjacent to the Moss Landing State Wildlife Area [subsection 550(a)].

Moro Cojo Slough State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area includes the waters within Moro Cojo Slough below mean high tide and east of the Highway 1 Bridge and west of the crossing of the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Soquel Canyon State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 51.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.;
36° 51.00' N. lat. 122° 03.80' W. long.;
36° 48.00' N. lat. 122° 02.88' W. long.;
36° 48.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.; and
36° 51.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of pelagic finfish is allowed. Not more than five percent by weight of any commercial pelagic finfish catch landed or possessed shall be other incidentally taken species.

Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 43.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.;
36° 43.00' N. lat. 122° 01.30' W. long.;
36° 41.00' N. lat. 122° 00.80' W. long.;
36° 41.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.; and
36° 43.00' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of pelagic finfish is allowed. Not more than five percent by weight of any commercial pelagic finfish catch landed or possessed shall be other incidentally taken species.

Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 36.50' N. lat. 121° 53.37' W. long.;
36° 37.25' N. lat. 121° 53.78' W. long.; and
36° 37.10' N. lat. 121° 54.09' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  • The recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line is allowed.
  • The commercial take of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis spp.) is allowed by hand in the area defined by subsection 165(c)(4)(D) under the following conditions:
    • Any individual kelp harvester with a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 165 may take no more than 12 tons of kelp from the portion of Administrative Kelp Bed 220 within the Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area in any calendar month.
    • Duplicate landing records must be kept on board the harvest vessel in accordance with the requirements of Section 165.

Lovers Point-Julia Platt State Marine Reserve

Formerly known as Lovers Point State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 37.10' N. lat. 121° 54.09' W. long.;
36° 37.25' N. lat. 121° 53.78' W. long.;
36° 37.38' N. lat. 121° 53.85' W. long.;
36° 37.60' N. lat. 121° 54.75' W. long.; and
36° 37.60' N. lat. 121° 54.91' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 37.60' N. lat. 121° 54.91' W. long.;
36° 37.60' N. lat. 121° 54.75' W. long.;
36° 38.70' N. lat. 121° 55.40' W. long.;
36° 38.90' N. lat. 121° 56.60' W. long.; and
36° 38.22' N. lat. 121° 56.15' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  • The recreational take of finfish is allowed.
  • The commercial take of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis spp.) by hand is allowed under the following conditions:
    • Any individual kelp harvester with a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 165 may take no more than 44 tons of kelp from the portion of Administrative Kelp Bed 220 within the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area in any calendar month.
    • Duplicate landing records must be kept on board the harvest vessel in accordance with the requirements of Section 165.

Asilomar State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 38.22' N. lat. 121° 56.15' W. long.;
36° 38.90' N. lat. 121° 56.60' W. long.; and
36° 36.60' N. lat. 121° 57.50' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Carmel Pinnacles State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 33.65' N. lat. 121° 57.60' W. long.;
36° 33.65' N. lat. 121° 58.50' W. long.;
36° 33.10' N. lat. 121° 58.50' W. long.;
36° 33.10' N. lat. 121° 57.60' W. long.; and
36° 33.65' N. lat. 121° 57.60' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 33.65' N. lat. 121° 57.10' W. long.;
36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 56.30' W. long.; and
36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 55.55' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  • The recreational take of finfish is allowed.
  • The commercial take of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis spp.) by hand is allowed under the following conditions:
    • Any individual kelp harvester with a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 165 may take no more than 44 tons of kelp from the portion of Administrative Kelp Bed 219 within the Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area in any calendar month.
    • Duplicate landing records must be kept on board the harvest vessel in accordance with the requirements of Section 165.

Point Lobos State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 55.55' W. long.;
36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 58.25' W. long.;
36° 28.88' N. lat. 121° 58.25' W. long.; and
36° 28.88' N. lat. 121° 56.30' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Additional Restrictions: Within the portion of the Point Lobos State Marine Reserve which also falls within the boundary of the Point Lobos State Reserve (State Park Unit), restrictions on boating and diving activities exist. Contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation for current restrictions.

Point Lobos State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 58.25' W. long.;
36° 31.70' N. lat. 122° 01.30' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
36° 28.88' N. lat. 122° 00.55' W. long.;
36° 28.88' N. lat. 121° 58.25' W. long.; and
36° 31.70' N. lat. 121° 58.25' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational and commercial take of salmon, albacore, and the commercial take of spot prawn.

Point Sur State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

36° 18.40' N. lat. 121° 54.10' W. long.;
36° 18.40' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.;
36° 15.00' N. lat. 121° 52.50' W. long.; and
36° 15.00' N. lat. 121° 50.25' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Point Sur State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

36° 18.40' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.;
36° 18.40' N. lat. 121° 58.33' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
36° 15.00' N. lat. 121° 55.10' W. long.;
36° 15.00' N. lat. 121° 52.50' W. long.; and
36° 18.40' N. lat. 121° 56.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Big Creek State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

36° 07.20' N. lat. 121° 38.00' W. long.;
36° 07.20' N. lat. 121° 39.00' W. long.;
36° 05.20' N. lat. 121° 38.00' W. long.;
36° 05.20' N. lat. 121° 41.25' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
36° 02.65' N. lat. 121° 39.70' W. long.; and
36° 02.65' N. lat. 121° 35.13' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Anchoring: Except as pursuant to Federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, it is unlawful to anchor or moor a vessel in waters shallower than 10 fathoms in the Big Creek State Marine Reserve.

Big Creek State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the three nautical mile offshore boundary and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

36° 07.20' N. lat. 121° 39.00' W. long.;
36° 07.20' N. lat. 121° 42.90' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
36° 05.20' N. lat. 121° 41.25' W. long.;
36° 05.20' N. lat. 121° 38.00' W. long.; and
36° 07.20' N. lat. 121° 39.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon, albacore, and the commercial take of spot prawn.

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

35° 42.85' N. lat. 121° 18.95' W. long.;
35° 42.85' N. lat. 121° 21.00' W. long.;
35° 39.15' N. lat. 121° 18.50' W. long.; and
35° 39.15' N. lat. 121° 14.45' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

35° 42.85' N. lat. 121° 21.00' W. long.;
35° 42.85' N. lat. 121° 22.85' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
35° 39.15' N. lat. 121° 20.90' W. long.;
35° 39.15' N. lat. 121° 18.50' W. long.; and
35° 42.85' N. lat. 121° 21.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Cambria State Marine Conservation Area and State Marine Park*

JPG Map | PDF Map

* Cambria State Marine Conservation Area was also designated Cambria State Marine Park by the California State Park and Recreation Commission in August, 2010. The two areas share the same boundaries; no additional take regulations have been adopted at this time. Contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation for more information about the State Marine Park.

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

35° 37.10' N. lat. 121° 09.20' W. long.;
35° 37.10' N. lat. 121° 10.70' W. long.;
35° 32.85' N. lat. 121° 06.70' W. long.; and
35° 32.85' N. lat. 121° 05.85' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: The commercial take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Recreational take is allowed.

White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

35° 32.85' N. lat. 121° 05.85' W. long.;
35° 32.85' N. lat. 121° 06.70' W. long.;
35° 30.50' N. lat. 121° 05.00' W. long.; and
35° 30.50' N. lat. 121° 03.40' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial take of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis spp.) under the following conditions:

  • Any individual kelp harvester with a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 165 and holding a valid lease to Administrative Kelp Bed 208 may take no more than 125 tons of kelp from the portion of Administrative Kelp Bed 208 within the White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area in any calendar month.
  • Duplicate landing records must be kept on board the harvest vessel in accordance with the requirements of Section 165.

Morro Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area includes the area below mean high tide within Morro Bay east of the Morro Bay entrance breakwater and west of longitude 120° 50.34' W.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Recreational hunting of waterfowl is allowed unless otherwise restricted by hunting regulations (sections 502, 550, 551, and 552). Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the following activities are allowed north of latitude 35° 19.70' N:

  • The recreational take of finfish
  • Aquaculture of oysters, pursuant to a valid State water bottom lease and permit
  • Storing finfish taken outside the Morro Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area in a receiver for bait purposes.

Morro Bay State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area includes the area below mean high tide line within Morro Bay east of longitude 120° 50.34' W.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Point Buchon State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 54.00' W. long.;
35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.;
35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.; and
35° 13.30' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.;
35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 57.80' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 55.20' W. long.;
35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.; and
35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Vandenberg State Marine Reserve

JPG Map | PDF Map

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

34° 44.65' N. lat. 120° 37.75' W. long.;
34° 44.65' N. lat. 120° 40.00' W. long.;
34° 33.25' N. lat. 120° 40.00' W. long.; and
34° 33.25' N. lat. 120° 37.25' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except take incidental to base operations and commercial space launch operations identified by the Vandenberg Air Force Base Commander as mission critical.

Public Entry: Public entry into the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve may be restricted at the discretion of the department to protect wildlife, aquatic life, or habitat or by the Commander of Vandenberg Air Force Base to protect and provide safety for base operations.

Memorandum of Understanding: The Department shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commander of Vandenberg Air Force Base for the mutually beneficial management and administration of the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve. The MOU shall include, but not be limited to, the identification of Vandenberg Air Force Base's national defense mission activities that are unrestricted by the subject regulations and details on management and administrative roles and responsibilities.

Definitions: Take, Finfish, Pelagic Finfish, and Coastal Pelagic Species

Take (Section 86, Fish and Game Code and Title 14 Section 650) means pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to pursue, catch, capture, or kill.

Finfish (Title 14 Section 632(a)(2)), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, are any species of bony fish or cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates and rays). Finfish do not include amphibians, invertebrates, plants or algae.

Pelagic finfish (Title 14 Section 632(a)(3)), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, are a subset of finfish defined as: northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), barracudas (Sphyraena spp.), billfishes* (family Istiophoridae), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus), salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), blue shark (Prionace glauca), salmon shark (Lamna ditropis), shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), thresher sharks (Alopias spp.), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), tunas (family Scombridae), including Pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis), and yellowtail (Seriola lalandi). *Marlin is not allowed for commercial take.

Coastal pelagic species (Title 14 Section 1.39), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, include the following: northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus) and market squid (Loligo opalescens).

Surf Smelt (CCR Title 14, Section 28.45)
(Night Smelt, Day Fish, Whitebait Smelt)
Limit: Twenty-five pounds in combination

Definitions: MPA, Marine Managed Area, and Special Closure

State Marine Reserve (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(A)): In a State Marine Reserve, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a scientific colleting permit issued pursuant to Section 650 or specific authorization from the commission for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes.

State Marine Park (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(B)): In a State Marine Park, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living or nonliving marine resource for commercial purposes. Any human use that would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community or habitat, or geological, cultural, or recreational features, may be restricted by the commission as specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use. The commission may issue scientific collecting permits pursuant to Section 650 or specifically authorize research, monitoring, and educational activities and certain recreational harvest in a manner consistent with protecting resource values.

State Marine Conservation Area (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(C)): In a State Marine Conservation Area, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes except as specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use. The commission may issue scientific collecting permits pursuant to Section 650 or specifically authorize research, education, and recreational activities, and certain commercial and recreational harvest of marine resources, provided that these uses do not compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features.

State Marine Recreational Management Area (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(D)): In a State Marine Recreational Management Area, it is unlawful to perform any activity that would compromise the recreational values for which the area may be designated. Recreational opportunities may be protected, enhanced, or restricted, while preserving basic resource values of the area. No other use is restricted unless specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use.

Special Closure: An area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites (restrictions vary).

General Rules that Apply to All MPAs

Access (Title 14 Section 632(a)(4))

Access into marine protected areas or marine managed areas for non-consumptive uses including but not limited to swimming, surfing, diving, boating, hiking and walking is allowed unless otherwise specified in individual MPA regulations.

Introduction of Species (Title 14 Section 632(a)(5))

Unless authorized by the commission or as a result of authorized fishing activities, the release of any fish or wildlife species, including domestic or domesticated species, or the introduction of any plant species, is prohibited. The department may reintroduce endemic species to marine protected areas or marine managed areas for management purposes.

Feeding of Fish and Wildlife (Title 14 Section 632(a)(6))

The feeding of fish and wildlife is prohibited except permitted scientific collection pursuant to Section 650 or as a result of authorized fishing within state marine conservation areas, state marine parks, and state marine recreational management areas, or unless feeding of fish is specifically authorized in subsection 632(b) for purposes of marine life viewing.

Anchoring (Title 14 Section 632(a)(7))

Vessels shall be allowed to anchor in any marine protected area or marine managed area with catch onboard unless otherwise specified in individual MPA regulations, areas and special regulations for use. Fishing gear shall not be deployed in the water while anchored in a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in subsection 632(b), shall not be deployed in the water while anchored in a state marine recreational management area, state marine park or state marine conservation area. Anchoring regulations shall be consistent with federal law and allowances made for anchoring required by emergency or severe weather.

Transit or Drifting (Title 14 Section 632(a)(8))

Vessels shall be allowed to transit through MPAs and MMAs with catch onboard. Fishing gear shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in subsection 632(b), shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine recreational management area, state marine park or state marine conservation area.

Spearfishermen with or without catch shall be allowed to transit through marine protected areas and marine managed areas. While transiting areas that prohibit spearfishing or while in possession of species not identified as allowed for take in the area being transited, spearfishing gear shall be in an unloaded condition, not carried in hand, and the diver shall remain at the surface.

Water Quality Monitoring (Title 14 Section 632(a)(9))

Sampling of water, sediment and marine life, for water quality monitoring or pollution research, or as required in a Monitoring and Reporting Program of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit and Waste Discharge Requirements issued by the State or Regional Water Boards pursuant to the United States Clean Water Act and the California Water Code, is allowed within state marine reserves, state marine conservation areas, state marine parks, and state marine recreational management areas pursuant to a valid scientific collecting permit issued by the department.

Public Safety (Title 14 Section 632(a)(10))

Public safety activities, including installation, maintenance and/or seasonal placement and removal of safety-related artificial structures, including but not limited to lifeguard towers, are allowed within any MPA classification pursuant to any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Tribal Take (Title 14 Section 632(a)(11))

"Federally recognized tribe" means any tribe on the List of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, published annually in the Federal Register. Any member of a federally recognized tribe authorized to take living marine resources from an area with area-specific take restrictions in subsection 632(b), when engaging in take within an authorized area shall possess on his person, in his immediate possession, or where otherwise specifically required by law to be kept, any valid license, report card, tag, stamp, validation, permit, or any other entitlement that is required in the Fish and Game Code, or required by other state, federal, or local entities, in order to take living marine resources. Members shall possess a valid photo identification card issued by a federally recognized tribe that contains expiration date, tribal name, tribal member number, name, signature, date of birth, height, color of eyes, color of hair, weight, and sex; and display any of the items listed above upon demand to any peace officer. Members taking living marine resources under this provision are subject to current seasonal, bag, possession, gear and size limits in existing Fish and Game Code statutes and regulations of the Commission, except as otherwise provided for in subsection 632(b). No member, while taking living marine resources pursuant to this section, may be assisted by any person who does not possess a valid tribal identification card and is not properly licensed to take living marine resources. Nothing in the regulation is intended to conflict with, or supersede, any state or federal law regarding the take of protected, threatened or endangered species.

Shore Fishing (Title 14 Section(a)(12))

Take from shore, or shore fishing, means take of living marine resources from shore, including beaches, banks, piers, jetties, breakwaters, docks, and other man-made structures connected to the shore. Unless specifically authorized in subsection 632(b), no vessel, watercraft (motorized or non-motorized), or floating device may be used to assist in the take, transport or possession of species taken while shore fishing, except that a float tube or similar flotation device may be used when taking abalone only.