ENJOYING THE SUN AND SURF
All along California’s coast large numbers of residents and visitors enjoy shore-based and on-water non-consumptive recreational activities that include beach-going, diving, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. One goal of MPAs is to increase recreational, study, and educational opportunities in ways that are consistent with the protection of biodiversity.
LINKING HUMAN USE WITH ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS
MPA monitoring has been designed to assess both the effects of non-consumptive uses on MPAs and ecosystems, and inversely, the effects of MPAs on non-consumptive uses. Many non-consumptive uses are closely tied to trends in marine ecosystems and economic circumstances to natural environmental conditions, such as weather. Given the diversity of non-consumptive use types, the effects of MPA implementations naturally vary with type and by region. In turn, integrated analyses are needed to examine the effects of multiple system drivers and influences in order to reveal MPA-related changes in patterns of non-consumptive uses, revealing patterns occurring on local scales (e.g., access points or ports), within individual MPAs, and across the region.
Illegal non-consumptive activities can be a challenge, particularly for coastal MPAs that feature accessible populations of charismatic wildlife. MPA monitoring needs to consider and detect the effects of such activities.