has been a full year since we embarked upon the south coast marine
protected area (MPA) planning process, where we have made tremendous
progress and learned a great amount as we journey forward together. We
have seen countless hours put in by members of the regional stakeholder
group, science advisory team, task force, staff, and interested public.
Together we have produced volumes of guidance, scientific evaluations
and suggestions that serve to both document where we’ve been and
provide guidance for the future.
we may not always agree, and sometimes we take missteps, every meeting
serves as testament to the tremendous levels of preparation, effort and
commitment demonstrated by all involved. This dedication allowed us to
recently reach an important milestone – the regional stakeholder group
and external proponents completed their Round 2 draft and revised MPA proposals, which are now being evaluated. The proposals can be viewed on the MLPA website, as well as in MarineMap, and will be showcased at a series of open houses to be held throughout the study region over the next two weeks.
on the commitment of everyone involved in the south coast process, I am
reminded of a quote from Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,
who said, "Once you've done the mental work, there comes a point you
have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line.
That means not only being brave, but being compassionate towards
yourself, your teammates and your opponents." As we move forward with
the upcoming open houses and then into Round 3, this quote reminds us
all to focus on our shared passion for California’s marine resources
and to treat each other with compassion and respect.
those of you in the study region, I encourage each of you to attend an
open house to review the proposals and provide your input. We want to
know what you think!
~Ken Wiseman, Executive Director
A complete list of upcoming meeting dates through December 2009 can be found on the MLPA Initiative website.
Blue Ribbon Task Force
June 4, 2009 Agenda & Meeting Materials
On June 4, the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) held its ninth public
meeting in Los Angeles. The task force unanimously adoped:
staff recommendations regarding the evaluation of Round 2 draft and
revised marine protected area proposals, as well as preliminary
guidance for Round 3; and
- MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team water quality evaluation method.
The task force
also reviewed the status report on recommendations to improve
coordination among state and federal agencies with MPA management
responsibilities and directed MLPA Initiative staff to assist the state
with implementating the first two recommendations outlines in the
The BRTF will meet again on July 28 and 29 in the Santa Monica area.
It is anticipated that additional guidance will be provided at that
time to the regional stakeholder group regarding developing marine
protected area proposals in Round 3.
Science Advisory Team
May 15, 2009- Agenda & Meeting Materials
May 15, the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT) held its
seventh meeting viia teleconference and webinar. During this meeting,
the SAT approved the draft evaluation of ecological contributions of
pending military closures and proposed MPAs at San Nicolas Island, Begg
Rock and San Clemente Island.
June 18, 2009- Agenda & Meeting Materials
On June 18, the SAT held its eighth meeting. During this meeting, SAT:
- Approved all evaluation results for
MPA size and spacing, habitat representation and replication, benefits
to birds and mammals, potential fishery impacts, bioeconomic modeling
and water quality for Round 2 draft proposals. These results will be
presented to the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force and MLPA South
Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (SCRSG) at their next meetings.
supporting text for previously approved 'levels of protection' (LOP)
and approved a new 'low' LOP for take of ghost shrimp.
The water quality
work group presented information on the White’s Point Superfund site
and the Portuguese Bend landslide and made recommendations as to how
the SCRSG should consider integrating this information into Round 3.
The spacing guidelines work group will continue to work on that subject
over the summer.
The next SAT meeting is currently scheduled for October 6 as a joint meeting with the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team for the north coast study region.
South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
May 21, 2009 Agenda & Meeting Materials
21, the MLPA South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (SCRSG)
participated in its sixth general meeting in Santa Ana, proceeded by
one and a half days of work sessions. SCRSG members received:
from the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) on pending military
closures and military use areas, and how such areas should be treated
in developing Round 2 MPA proposals.
of the SCRSG work groups, “Lapis,” “Opal” and “Topaz,” completed their
Round 2 draft MPA proposals and, in doing so, pursued its own proposal
- Opal and
Topaz each submitted a single draft MPA proposal to be automatically
moved forward for evaluation, and the Lapis workgroup submitted two
proposals (Lapis 1 and Lapis 2).
- The gems groups then presented these proposals to the full SCRSG for review and discussion.
on the BRTF’s guidance to forward no more than six proposals for Round
2 evaluation, a straw vote was conducted to select four proposals from
among the five remaining proposals including: the three external
proposals (External A, External B and External C) and the two
non-converged Lapis proposals (Lapis 1 and Lapis 2). All SCRSG members
(including those not present at the meeting) were given the opportunity
to vote, and were required to vote for four of the five proposals.
The SCRSG will meet again on August 3 and 4 in the Oceanside/Carlsbad area
to receive informational presentations on the review and evaluations of
the Round 2 proposals conducted by the the MLPA Master Science Plan
Advisory Team, California Department of Fish and Game, California
Department of Parks and Recreation and MLPA Initiative staff. Comments
collected during the public open houses regarding Round 2 proposals
will also be presented. The BRTF is expected to provide further
guidance on how the draft proposals will create a framework for further
negotiations in Round 3 of the MPA design process.
All meetings are open to the public and are also simultaneously webcast on the day of the meeting on the MLPA Initiative website. Open houses and work sessions are not videotaped or webcast.
Tuesday, July 28 & Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Blue Ribbon Task Force
July 28: 9:30 a.m.
July 29: 8:30 a.m.
Santa Monica area
Monday, August 3 (meeting) &
Tuesday, August 4 (work session)*, 2009
South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
sessions are not videotaped and do not include a formal public comment
period; members of the public are welcome to attend as observers.
All meeting agendas are posted to the MLPA website
at least a week in advance of the meeting. Meeting materials are posted
as soon as they become available. In addition to the simultaneous live
webcast of meetings, the video and audio archives are posted to the
website within two days of each meeting.
Events & Activities
South Coast Summer Public Open Houses
June 29 and 30, and July 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 13
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Initiative South Coast Summer Open Houses provide an opportunity for
the public to review and comment on "Round 2" draft MPA proposals
developed for the south coast study region. All are welcome* to visit
informational stations and interact with staff and south coast regional
stakeholders any time between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Monday, June 29
Hilton Garden Inn
6450 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Tuesday, June 30
Marina Village Conference Center
1936 Quivira Way
San Diego, CA 92109
Wednesday, July 1
Aliso Creek Inn
31106 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Monday, July 6
Simons Banquet Center
Ports O Call Village, Berth 80
1050 Nagoya Way
San Pedro, CA 90731
Tuesday, July 7
Marina del Rey Hotel
13534 Bali Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Wednesday, July 8
2101 W Vineyard Ave.
Oxnard, CA 93036
Thursday, July 9
Fess Parker's Doubletree
633 East Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Monday, July 13
Avalon City Hall
410 Avalon Canyon Rd,
Avalon, CA 90704
What if I can’t attend one of the public open houses?
If you are not able to attend, you may also provide your
feedback via email by sending a message to
AskMPA@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to MLPA Initiative, c/o
California Natural Resources Agency, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311,
Sacramento, CA 95814. Comments should be received no later than July
19, 2009 so that SCRSG and BRTF members have time for review prior to
the start of Round 3.
*Opportunities for the non-English speaking public to provide input will also be made available
Upcoming North Coast Study Region Public Open Houses
the dates! Open houses are scheduled to introduce the Marine Life
Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative’s North Coast Project. Attendees are
welcome to walk through informational stations at their leisure any
time between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. The open house goals are to introduce
people to the MLPA Initiative and its North Coast Project (state waters
from the California border with Oregon to Alder Creek near Point Arena
in Mendocino County), invite questions, and solicit input on the
Monday, July 20
#1 Marina Way
Eureka, CA 95501
Tuesday, July 21
Dana Gray Elementary School
1197 Chestnut Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Wednesday, July 22
1001 Front Street
Crescent City, CA 95531
What does best readily-available science mean and how is it used in the MLPA planning process?
readily-available science is the best data that is accessible in a
format where it can be readily incorporated into the MPA planning
process. Marine systems are highly complex and better information is
constantly being generated by ongoing research. Recognizing this, and
that complete information and knowledge will never exist to fully
inform management decisions, under the MLPA the California State
Legislature requires the use of best readily available science in
decisions regarding the siting of new MPAs and any major modifications
of existing MPAs (California Fish and Game Code §2855(a)).
the south coast, the MLPA Initiative worked to identify
readily-available science and information by hosting a data outreach
workshop and undertaking joint fact-finding with stakeholders and
members of the public, as well as creating with the science advisory
team a process for data to be submitted and considered in the process.
While there will always be additional information that may further
inform MPA planning, a large amount already exists to help California
redesign its system of MPAs to achieve the goals of the MLPA. Current
information is based on a long history of scientific research and data
gathering, not only in California, but also around the world on species
distribution, spawning areas, life history characteristics and habitat
relationships, among other topics.
are used in a variety of ways in the MLPA Initiative process.
Information about the south coast study region is provided to
stakeholders in a regional profile as well as an online decision
support tool called MarineMap (http://www.marinemap.org/marinemap/). The MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT) uses data to create guidelines and conduct evaluations of MPA proposals.
guidelines for MPA planning are provided in the text of the Marine Life
Protection Act; further details are outlined in the California Marine Life Protection Act Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas,
as adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission after substantial
public input and scientific peer review. The methods and application of
the guidelines in the master plan have been peer reviewed and found to
be scientifically sound. In keeping up with the best, readily-available
science, the science guidance is reviewed, refined and improved in each
study region as the planning process proceeds.
the MLPA South Coast Study Region, the SAT tailored the science
guidelines and evaluations to the unique conditions of the study
region, based upon the best, readily-available science. Results of the
science evaluations are provided to the MLPA South Coast Regional
Stakeholder Group and MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, who incorporate the
results into their planning and decisions. After the MLPA planning
process is completed, new science will continue to help improve
California’s network of MPAs by informing an adaptive management
success of the MLPA largely depends on the continued involvement of the
public. There are a number of ways that members of the public can
participate in this process:
feedback is one of the most important ways to get involved in the MLPA
Initiative process. All written comments should be submitted via email, mail or fax.
All comments received are compiled on a weekly basis and distributed to
the I-Team and MLPA Initiative groups (BRTF, SCRSG and SAT). Please do
not send comments to SAT or BRTF members directly.
comment at MLPA Initiative meetings is another important opportunity to
provide input and feedback. Public comments should be concise and
focused on specific ideas or suggestions. While the time available for
verbal comments at meetings is limited, there is an no limit on the
length of comments submitted in writing.
Other opportunities to provide input include:
Spread the word
- Circulate South Coast News
far and wide to help ensure others in your community are aware of the
MLPA Initiative, upcoming meetings and opportunities for public
the MLPA Initiative brochure - post it on your website, circulate it
via listservs and/or print it for distribution at community events
you are a leader in your community and/or have access to a large number
of constituents, become a Key Communicator. Contact the Public Outreach
and Education Team via email or call (310) 738-2665 to learn more.