Report: Summary of the California Marine Protected Area Network MPA Monitoring Program


California’s pioneering MPA network serves as one of the world’s best examples of regional-scale marine protection initiative. 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 the state’s coast. The intent was to protect marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage. The recently completed review of the first ten years of monitoring data demonstrates the value of monitoring investments and the range of ecological benefits that MPAs can bring to marine ecosystems.

This report describes the monitoring plan for California’s MPA network over the past decade. The content is mainly divided into three parts: 1) monitoring program design; 2) monitoring methodologies and data evaluation; and 3) lessons learned and improvement measures. The fact sheet summarizes results of the decade review, lessons learned, and recommendations to the future. These international cases may provide reference for relevant work.