California Creates Nation’s First Statewide Underwater Park System

October 8, 2012

In June, Resource Media joined with ocean fans around the world in celebrating the completion of California’s network of marine protected areas. Many years in the making, the United States’ first statewide system of underwater parks came about as the result of the visionary Marine Life Protection Act and the hard work of tens of thousands of citizens throughout the state.

Resource Media worked with partners in the conservation community, as well as supportive fishermen, business owners, Native tribes, scientists and elected officials to make the case for smart ocean planning. Protecting the crown jewels of California’s iconic coastline – La Jolla, the Big Sur Coast, and Point Reyes to name a few – will ensure a thriving coastal economy and environment.

Marine protected areas are parts of the ocean where sea life can thrive safe from disturbance.  A large body of scientific research shows that setting aside a small percentage of coastal waters, as California has done, can make the entire system more resilient and healthy. That means better birding, fishing, and tidepooling for years to come.

As on many other conservation issues, California is at the vanguard of forward-thinking ocean policy, leading the nation, maybe even the world, in managing ocean resources for sustainable abundance.

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Brendan McLaughlin