Statewide Long-Term Monitoring

 

Phase 2: statewide long-term monitoring reflects current State priorities and management needs, and builds on the knowledge, capacity, and unique considerations developed for each region during Phase 1 (regional baseline monitoring). The State has committed an annual General Fund allotment of $2.5 million for Phase 2, beginning in FY 2015/2016.

The first two years of funding for long-term monitoring, which began mid-2016, maintains or expands the geographic scope of data collection in select ecosystems, maintains capacity of California Department of Fish and Wildlife to collect data through equipment upgrades, expands science-management collaborations, and supports Ocean Science Trust to help the state develop monitoring that serves across agencies and mandates.

The Statewide MPA Monitoring Action Plan (planned for release in 2018) is under development, which will guide long-term monitoring and future spending of Phase 2 activities.

 

Statewide MPA Monitoring Action Plan

Since the initiation of baseline monitoring to characterize conditions at the time or near the implementation of the MPA Network (2007-2017) there has been ongoing work to develop quantitative and expert informed approaches to long term monitoring. The MPA Monitoring Program is designed to evaluate the performance of the MPA Network at meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) including ecosystem-based and specific ecological goals that include:

  • protecting the natural diversity and abundance of marine life;
  • protecting structure, function and integrity of marine ecosystems;
  • sustaining, conserving, protecting and rebuilding depleted marine life populations;
  • and protecting representative and unique habitats for their intrinsic value.

California’s MPA Network specifically removes or reduces fishing and, where possible, was also co-located with Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBSs) which are areas within California state marine waters that have higher water quality standards. The State is mandated by the MLPA to evaluate how the protection affects fished species, as well as the ecosystem as a whole. This requires a holistic approach to monitoring across geography, disciplines and habitats. As a first step to addressing this mandate, the State invested $16 million dollars to develop a baseline characterization of conditions at or near the time of regional MPA implementation. Concurrently, Regional Monitoring Plans were developed through a public process resulting in a framework that identified a comprehensive list of questions and indicators that can inform the evaluation of the MPA Network at meeting the goals of the MLPA. At the end of the baseline characterization, researchers also evaluated the indicators within the Monitoring Plans and suggested indicators that would be valuable for long-term monitoring.

With this critical foundational work completed, the State is currently developing quantitative and expert informed approaches to long-term monitoring that will be synthesized into the Statewide MPA Monitoring Program Action Plan (Action Plan). The Action Plan will identify a priority list of indicators and sites for long-term monitoring to evaluate the performance of the Network at meeting the goals of the MLPA. The Action Plan will aggregate and synthesize work to date as well as contain more recent work that has developed quantitative approaches to siting and indicator selection.

 

TIMELINE

After the Action Plan is endorsed by the Ocean Protection Council and adopted by the Fish and Game Commission, a competitive process at the end of 2018 will be rolled out to select long-term monitoring projects scheduled. The proposal review committee will include scientific experts both from within and outside of state government. The call for proposals will be seeking to fund monitoring in a habitat type or types statewide for 2-5 years depending on funding available. This approach will require scientists or scientific organizations to create collaborations across the state to leverage resources and expertise.

 

MPA MONITORING ACTION PLAN DRAFT OUTLINE

     I. MPA Site Selection

          a. Quantitative approaches to site selection

               i. Design criteria evaluation

               ii. Connectivity Matrix Modeling

               iii. Local Historical Fishing Pressure Modeling

          b. Connection to other long-term sampling

          c. How monitoring design can inform other management priorities

               i. Climate Change

               ii. Fisheries

          d. Synthesis of approaches and decision points

          e. Site Selection

               i. Tier 1

               ii. Tier 2

               iii. Tier 3

     II. Selection of indicators and metrics

          a. Regional Monitoring Plan indicators

               i. Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) regional monitoring plans

               ii. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Channel Islands Monitoring Plan 2004

          b. Indicator recommendations from baseline monitoring

          c. Other indicator selection approaches

               i. Results of deep ecosystem workshop

               ii. Results of integration projects

                    1. Regional Integration Projects

                    2. Regional Integration Workshops

                    3. MPAs and Fisheries Integration Workshop

                    4. MLPA/MLMA  Integration Work (Yamane)

          d. Synthesis of approaches and decision points

          e. Selected indicators by habitat type/ecosystem feature

               i. Beaches and soft bottom intertidal

                    1. Tier 1 (base number of sites that need to be monitor to detect change)

                    2. Tier 2 (Tier 1+ additional sites that would approve ability to detect change)

                    3. Tier 3 (Tier 1 + Tier 2 + additional sites that would provide the most robust ability to detect change)

               ii. Rocky Intertidal

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               iii. Kelp and shallow rock (0 – 30m)

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               iv. Mid-depth rock (30 – 100m)

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               v. Deep ecosystems and canyons (>100m)

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               vi. Soft bottom subtidal (0-100m)

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               vii. Nearshore pelagic

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               viii. Estuarine and wetlands

                    1. Tier 1

                    2. Tier 2

                    3. Tier 3

               ix. Socioeconomic (consumptive and non-consumptive)

                    1. Consumptive (include tribal, traditional, non-commercial subsistence)

                         a. Tier 1

                         b. Tier 2

                         c. Tier 3

                    2.Non-Consumptive

                         a. Tier 1

                         b. Tier 2

                         c. Tier 3

     III. Process and mechanisms for conducting long-term monitoring

          a. Request for Qualification/Request for Proposal/Expression of Interest

          b. Competitive Proposal Review

          c. Time Line

     IV. Evaluating sample design adaptively

 

Contributing Groups