California’s Marine Protected Areas: Underwater Refuges Safeguard Our Ocean Life


In 1999, California passed the Marine Life Protection Act—the nation’s first ocean protection law of its kind—which created a network of underwater refuges that spans the length of our coast. Today, 124 marine protected areas safeguard over 16 percent of California’s state waters, sheltering valuable species and habitats and bolstering marine biodiversity and resilience.