Taking the pulse of our marine ecosystems and assessing the effectiveness of MPA design to inform management decisions

Monitoring Regions and Ecosystems

California is home to the largest scientifically based network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the nation. Planning is just the first chapter; scientific monitoring is essential to evaluate the effects of MPAs and inform ocean management. A statewide framework – adopted as state policy – guides a partnership-based approach to monitoring. A central question lies at the heart of the framework: What is the health of California’s ocean, inside and outside the MPAs?


MPA Monitoring Framework Guide     MPA Timeline and Milestones


California’s investment of $16 million in MPA monitoring is securing an assessment of the ecological and socioeconomic conditions of ocean ecosystems along the length of its coast. This ‘benchmark’ – completed in the Central Coast, North Central Coast, and South Coast and underway in the North Coast – provides a starting point for long-term MPA monitoring.


South Coast State of the Region Report


A healthy ocean is a priority for the state, and is a driver of California’s vibrant economy. Long-term scientific monitoring is essential for evaluating MPA network performance, and it will also serve California decision-makers broadly, across a variety of agencies and mandates.