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Partnerships and Collaborations

Recognizing that the combined efforts of multiple groups can often be more influential than any single group, the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation works to facilitate collaboration, identify and cultivate unique partnerships, and secure funding opportunities for state, federal, and local agencies and organizations. Below is a list of our partner organizations.

  • MPA Partners and Projects
    Some of the key partners in designing and implementing the central coast MPAs are shown below. Additional resources and organization links may be found at http://www.CaliforniaMPAs.org.

  • Marine Protected Areas Underwater Parks Ambassadors Program
    The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in collaboration with Ocean Conservancy and Resource Media launched a specialized training and outreach program, designed for docents and interpretive personnel, to promote greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of our local marine protected areas.

  • National Marine Sanctuaries:

    • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
      The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected MPA off California's central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square miles of ocean. Supporting one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems, it is home to numerous mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates, and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment. CMSF plays a vital role to the sanctuary by managing grants, facilitating collaborations and helping to develop the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN). (http://montereybay.noaa.gov)

    • Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
      In 1980, a portion of the Santa Barbara Channel was given a special protected status with the designation of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is an area of national significance because of its exceptional natural beauty and resources. It encompasses approximately 1,470 square miles (or 1,110 square nautical miles) of water surrounding Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara Islands, extending from mean high tide to six nautical miles offshore around each of the five islands. The sanctuary's primary goal is the protection of the natural and cultural resources contained within its boundaries. (http://channelislands.noaa.gov)

    • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
      Designated in 1981, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) spans 1,279-square-miles (966 square nautical miles) just north and west of San Francisco Bay, and protects open ocean, nearshore tidal flats, rocky intertidal areas, estuarine wetlands, subtidal reefs, and coastal beaches within its boundaries. GFNMS is a globally significant, extraordinarily diverse, and productive marine ecosystem that supports abundant wildlife and valuable fisheries. It provides breeding and feeding grounds for at least twenty-five endangered or threatened species; thirty-six marine mammal species, including blue, gray, and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the last populations of threatened Steller sea lions; over a quarter-million breeding seabirds; and one of the most significant white shark populations on the planet. (http://farallones.noaa.gov)

      Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association (http://www.farallones.org)

    • Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
      Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an extremely productive marine area off the west coast of United States in northern California, just north of the Gulf of the Farallones. With its southern-most boundary located 42 miles north of San Francisco, the sanctuary is entirely offshore, with the eastern boundary six miles from shore and the western boundary 30 miles offshore. In total, the sanctuary protects an area of 529 square miles. The combination of ocean conditions and undersea topography creates a rich and diverse marine community in the sanctuary. The prevailing California Current flows southward along the coast, and the annual upwelling of nutrient-rich deep ocean water supports the sanctuary's rich biological community of fishes, invertebrates, marine mammals and seabirds. (http://cordellbank.noaa.gov)

      Cordell Marine Sanctuary Foundation (http://cordellfoundation.org)

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
    The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was created in 1999 by the California state legislature. The act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas designed, created and managed using sound science and stakeholder input. The California Fish and Game Commission and Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are assigned the lead agency responsible for the implementation. Marine protected area designations in California include state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, and state marine recreational management areas. Utilizing a public-private partnership, the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative included a Blue Ribbon Task Force, scientists, resource managers, commercial and recreational fishing stakeholders, user groups and the public, all playing important roles. By spearheading the MPA Education and Outreach Initiative, the CMSF has helped to play a role to ensure the success of this bold conservation effort. (https://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa)

  • California State Parks
    California State Parks manages nearly 30% of the state’s coastline terrestrial lands and has been involved in the planning and implementation of underwater parks and reserves since 1960, with the establishment of Point Lobos Marine Reserve off Point Lobos State Reserve. Prior to the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) State Parks had established 14 marine managed areas. In 1979 State Parks prepared its first Underwater Parks Master Plan and updated the plan in 1984. Many of the planning elements and goals fundamental to the department’s Underwater Parks Program mirror those of the MLPA and the Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act (MMAIA)

  • National Marine Protected Areas Center
    Nation-wide, 1,600 MPAs dot the U.S. coastline. The vast majority allows fishing, water sports and a wide range of human activities to occur. Currently, the National MPA Center is cataloguing these MPAs to understand human uses and how well they protect our national ocean legacy. The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a partner to the National MPA Center by helping to facilitate collaboration and development of a national system of MPAs. (http://mpa.gov)

  • Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
    Elkhorn Slough, one of the largest estuaries in California, is located on the Monterey Bay near the town of Moss Landing. The slough provides essential habitat for over 700 species, including aquatic mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, algae, and plants.

    The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. The 1700-acre Reserve is a hub of activity and hosts programs that promote education, research, and conservation in Elkhorn Slough. The Visitor Center has award-winning exhibits that invite everyone to explore the Unseen Slough. There are five miles of trails that meander through beautiful oak woodlands, calm tidal creeks, and freshwater marshes. (Link: http://www.elkhornslough.org/esnerr/index.htm)
    Elkhorn Slough Foundation (http://www.elkhornslough.org)

  • Morro Bay National Estuary Program
    Morro Bay is located in San Luis Obispo County on the Pacific Coast about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The bay is one of the largest and most important wetland systems on the central coast, sustaining diverse habitats that support sensitive and endangered species.

    The Morro Bay National Estuary Program is one of 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico that have been designated as estuaries of national significance. The Morro Bay National Estuary Program is a collaborative organization that brings local citizens, local government, non-profits, agencies, and landowners together to protect and restore the physical, biological, economic, and recreational values of the Morro Bay Estuary. (http://www.mbnep.org)

Scientific Research & Monitoring (SIMoN)
Water Quality
Sanctuary Exploration Center
Marine Protected Areas and the California Marine Life Protection Act

What are MPAs?

Marine protected areas (MPAs) work much like our national parks and forests, with the size and level of protection varying with the goals of each area. Some restrict fishing or actually ban it entirely, while others allow all sorts of activities, such as fishing and recreation, to occur. Rather than focusing on a single species they protect the entire ecosystem (from small plankton to migrating grey whales),.. Marine protected areas are a powerful tool for restoring depleted fisheries including rockfishes, halibut, abalone and crabs. With healthy oceans, other species such as salmon, dolphins, harbor seals, and sea otters can thrive. In many places, protecting the ocean’s bounty has actually helped to stimulate local economies, providing much needed jobs and revenue. Around the world, MPAs are being heralded as an important tool for healthier, more resilient ocean ecosystems. Those underwater oases are then better able to withstand a wide range of impacts, from pollution to climate
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