Aerial photograph of CA Highway 101 and the coastline. Waves are visible in the water and green hills roll away to the east.

New reports guide adaptive management of California’s MPA network

Final reports from two parallel working groups are helping to inform MPA network evaluations and advance our understanding climate change resilience

By Hayley Carter

We are pleased to release final reports from two parallel MPA working groups, culminating a nearly two-year effort to develop guidance for the Ocean Protection Council and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that can inform adaptive management of the statewide MPA network. The reports were announced at the June 15, 2021 OPC public meeting.

The report “Scientific Guidance for Evaluating California’s Marine Protected Area Network” was led by former OST staff members Melissa Kent and Jessica Kauzer, and includes a socio-ecological framework to guide decadal evaluations of California’s MPA network and articulates recommendations for near and long-term investments in research and monitoring to support robust network evaluations. We thank Madeleine Hall-Arber and Steve Murray for their co-leadership, Emily Saarman for technical and writing support, and all of our working group members. For more information about this effort, see here.

The report “Climate Resilience and California’s Marine Protected Area Network” was led by OST staff member Hayley Carter, and provides an overview of climate change impacts and scenarios for the California Current, catalogs potential mechanisms and evidence by which MPAs could provide resilience to climate change (and weighs the evidence for and against each), suggests research that could guide our detection and understanding of climate resilience in California’s MPAs, and recommends a set of actions to support a climate-resilient MPA network. We thank Gretchen Hofmann and Elliott Hazen for their co-leadership, and all our working group members for their resilience and contributions during a challenging year. For more information about this effort, see here.

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