Marine Protected Areas

The productivity, wildness and beauty of California’s coastline is central to the state’s identity, heritage and economy. In 1999, the state legislature passed the Marine Life Protection Act with the goal of protecting California’s marine heritage through the establishment of a string of marine protected areas (MPAs). These MPAs are designed to protect the diversity and abundance of marine life, their habitats and the overall integrity of these important marine ecosystems.

These protected areas face numerous stressors, many of which have some interacting and complicating effects, including the occurrence of higher peak temperatures over time, changes in circulation, stratification and delivery of nutrients for primary production, pH changes, harmful algal blooms and more.

One challenge to safeguarding these resources is understanding how they are changing over time and space. While CeNCOOS and SCOOS have multiple accessible datasets and ocean models drawing from an unparalleled array of assets in place across the entire state, products tailored specifically for quantifying changes in the MPAs do not yet exist.

Together, CeNCOOS and SCOOS are developing curated data analytics that compile environmental, water quality and MPA monitoring data — including data on runoff, atmosphere and ocean physics, ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems. By pulling this information together in easily accessible data products, resource managers will have greater knowledge to manage these key resources using sound science.

There are three National Marine Sanctuaries within the CeNCOOS region: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Cordell Bank National Marine
NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) is the authoritative source for accurate, reliable, and timely tides, water
San Francisco specific tides and conditions are presented in the following links. NOAA tidal predictions for San Francisco Bay are
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) both measures and predicts tides. Links to these two products are provided below.
Waverider CDIP buoy
The coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) specializes in wave measurement, swell modeling and forecasting, and the analysis of environmental data.
The Humboldt Bay Oyster Dashboard, originally developed by researchers at Humboldt State University and oyster growers at Coast Seafoods in
Kelp Forest off of Monastery Beach taken with an MPA. ©Monterey Bay Aquarium, photo by Patrick Webster
California's network of marine protected areas (MPAs) serves to protect and manage the diversity and abundance of marine life, the