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MPA monitoring: Knowledge through partnerships

In a recent paper PISCO Principal Investigators Mark Carr, Pete Raimondi and Margaret McManus show that MPA monitoring must have a physical component to partner with the traditional ecological monitoring to accurately assess the effects of ecosystem change, in the coastal oceans, for example future climatic changes.

Monitoring MPAs by SCUBA in waters off Central California

Rapid Effects of Marine Reserves via Larval Dispersal

PISCO PI Pete Raimondi is co-author on a recently published study validating one of the principle concepts behind the use of marine protected areas. Using marine reserves, (marine protected areas that are assigned the highest level of protection, prohibiting all forms of fishing and resource extraction) Raimondi tested the theory that marine reserves can benefit fisheries via spillover of adults and enhanced larval dispersal from protected sites.

Oregon's Marine Reserve Planning Process


Oregon coast, Photo credit: John Meyer

Marine Protected Area Design

PISCO scientists have been engaged as scientific advisors to California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative since 2004. In this capacity, PISCO science has informed the “rules of thumb” for design of effective MPA networks and helped to answer a variety of scientific questions that have arisen in the process of MPA design.

Monitoring Marine Protected Areas

California Marine Life Protection Act

The Marine Life Protection Act, signed into law by the California State Legislature in 1999, directs the State of California to evaluate and/or redesign existing state marine protected areas (MPAs) and create a new network of MPAs to protect California’s marine ecosystems. Marine scientists serving on the Science Advisory Team to the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative provided guidelines for the design of MPAs to meet the goals of the Act.

MLPA Marine Protected Area Monitoring

PISCO has been heavily engaged in both the design and monitoring of the implemented Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) marine protected areas to date. Our previous work conducting oceanographic and ecosystem monitoring studies and informing the design of the MLPA MPAs have given PISCO an intimate knowledge of the requirements for monitoring of these long term MPAs.

PISCO research contributes to 5-year evaluation of Channel Island Marine Protected Areas

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) was established in 1980 to protect an area of national significance because of its exceptional natural beauty and resources. In 2003, the California Fish and Game Commission established a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) within the state waters of the CINMS. In 2006 and 2007 these MPAs were expanded by NOAA into deeper federal waters of the sanctuary. The Channel Islands MPA network is designed to:

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