New: State of the Region Report

North Central Coast MPA baseline monitoring is complete! Explore the State of the Region report and the wide variety of supporting resources.

Also check out the results from the North Central Coast Monitoring Survey on the more

Now Available: The State of the California North Central Coast Report and Resources.

The State of the California North Central Coast is a compilation of new research findings, integration projects, management applications, and community-building. In April, we had the pleasure of presenting these findings to the California Fish and Game Commission, in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Five Year Management Review. 

This important milestone marked the completion of the baseline period in the region. Read more about the wrap-up in our final North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program blog



A series of community gatherings were held last year across the North Central Coast Region. Learn more about these gathering through the blog, viewing the powerpoint presentation, and reading a Key Themes summary which documents some of the community's conversations, insights, and interests. Read more about community engagement in the Memo shared with the California Fish and Game Commission in February. 

Join the North Central Coast Ocean Community on OceanSpaces for the latest information and updates. 

Feel free to contact Dina Liebowitz ( for more information.






California Ocean Science Trust, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Ocean Protection Council, and California Sea Grant have worked together to develop, fund, and guide the North Central Coast MPA Baseline Monitoring Program, which extends from 2010 - 2015. During this time, researchers, citizen scientists, managers and others are collaborating to collect and integrate ecological and socioeconomic data, to establish a 'benchmark' of ocean conditions.

This scientific benchmark presents a current picture of the North Central Coast Coast, which can be used to track future changes, and provides a foundation for managers to make science-informed decisions for the region. The results of this work will inform the first monitoring and management review of the North Central Coast MPA network in 2016.

View the North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program Overview, and click on the sections below for more information.

View the North Central Coast Timeline - 2010 and Beyond to see how it all fits together.




Monitoring planning was a collaborative effort among the California Ocean Science Trust, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the North Central Coast community. Together, we developed a monitoring plan that reflects local priorities and management needs. It provides recommendations for “taking the pulse” of marine ecosystems and ocean-based human activities, and a scientific monitoring framework which forms the foundation for both baseline and long-term monitoring throughout the state.

Read the full North Central Coast MPA Monitoring Plan.

Read an In Brief version of the North Central Coast MPA Monitoring Plan.

See an overview of the MPA monitoring framework.


Collecting Data


With investment from the state, including $4-million allocated by the California Ocean Protection Council to support baseline monitoring, the North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program forged strong partnerships among academic and citizen scientists, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations, in order to collect data that give us a benchmark to measure future MPA network performance.

From 2010-2013, researchers across 11 projects monitored coastal and nearshore ecosystems (e.g. kelp forests, rocky shores and beaches), commercially important fish populations, and seabirds. Researchers also documented ocean activities such as fishing and recreation, and examined oceanographic conditions across the region. They collected a wealth of baseline monitoring data inside and outside MPAs, which informed the first regional snapshot of ecological and socioeconomic conditions in the North Central Coast.

Check out a day in the life of ecological data collection in sandy beaches of the NCC here!

To learn more about these projects and view the final reports, visit their project pages below:


Sharing Results

North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program Results

Baseline monitoring data for the North Central Coast are available for download. This includes hundreds of tables and maps bundled into 86 data packages across 11 projects,

Researchers analyzed the data and developed technical reports for each of the projects, which were vetted through a peer review process administered by California Sea Grant. A Snapshot Report was then developed to present a summary of these projects.

Visit individual project pages to view the technical reports and access data.



The Baseline Program team is working together to share monitoring activities and findings through a variety of outlets, including:


From disease outbreaks in seastars to abalone populations reduced by toxic algae blooms, MPA monitoring has gathered important evidence of ecosystem changes, in addition to setting a benchmark of conditions. The Baseline Program team developed a comprehensive State of the North Central Coast Region report, which provided a solid science foundation to inform the Fish and Game Commission Five-year management review of the MPAs, and complete the first turn of the adaptive management cycle in 2016.