Marine Protected Areas | California Ocean Protection Council
Organization Title

Marine Protected Areas

California’s Marine Protected Area Network

In 2012, California completed a science-based and stakeholder driven process to designate 124 MPAs. The network consists of areas that have various levels of protection and include some reserves that prohibit all “take”. A full accounting of the design process and statistics for the existing network can be found at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. CDFW is charged with the management of the MPA network and is supported by a host of government, non-government and state partners including the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) which is the policy lead for MPAs in the state. Successful management of the MPA network requires active engagement in four focal areas that make up the MPA Management Program. Click on the icons below to learn more and see our current projects in each area.

Image_Education and Outreach Image_Enforcement and Compliance Image_Research and Monitoring Image_Policy and Permitting


OPC focuses on supporting and informing MPA network management by breaking down traditional silos and creating novel partnerships and collaborations. The MPA Statewide Leadership Team is a key tool OPC uses to support effective management and is made up of state agencies and other partners that have significant authority to affect the statewide MPA network. Learn more…

Key Documents

Download a Google Earth file showing MPA sign locations here.