MPA Management Program: Research and Monitoring
Research and monitoring at selected sites to facilitate adaptive management and evaluate the performance of the MPA network at meeting the goals are also highlighted in the Marine Life Protection Act as required elements of the MPA Management Program. The state has invested $16 million dollars in phase 1 of the Statewide Monitoring Program, Baseline Monitoring, to establish a comprehensive ecological and socioeconomic condition assessment across the network at the time of implementation by which future changes will be compared to. This work is already paying dividends by informing the development of a Statewide Monitoring Program that capitalizes on efficiencies and leverages partnerships to reduce costs. This work also is being applied to other state resource management priorities such as sustainable fisheries and climate change adaptation.
The development of phase 2 of the Statewide Monitoring Program (Fig. 1), long-term monitoring, is underway and will be completed by the mid- 2018 with the release of MPA Monitoring Action Plan. This program is building on the learning from the Baseline Program, the existing regional monitoring plans and statewide monitoring framework. The development of the Statewide Monitoring Program links directly to the needs identified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to support their adaptive management and evaluation of the network including the MLPA Master Plan. This program area is deeply dependent on partnerships and leveraging opportunities that have been developed through the Baseline Program and MLPA Initiative process.
To learn more about the partners, components and investments involved in the process of California’s transition from regional baseline monitoring to a long-term monitoring design that treats 124 MPAs as an integrated network CLICK HERE!