San Francisco Bay Study Region – Background

Under the California Marine Protected Act, a series of Marine Protected Areas are being established along the coastline from Oregon to the Mexican Border.  Since 2007, these coastal areas in 4 regions are in some process of regulation or consideration.
This process is now well established and involves the entire state coastline to date, with the ultimate goal of protecting nearly 20% of the coastal zone in some manner.
The North Central Coast Region  from Alder Creek to Pigeon Point which encompasses the coastline North and South of the Bay exterior. These protected areas were established in 2009. The San Francisco Bay is the last under consideration.  Any process banning fishing is controversial and will require facts, study and the will to do it. 

The San Francisco Bay Study Region (waters within San Francisco Bay, from the Golden Gate Bridge northeast to the Carquinez Bridge) is the fifth and final study region for consideration under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). As detailed in a memorandum of understanding among the California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Fish and Game, and Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, and in recognition of the unique characteristics of the bay area, the MLPA Initiative is developing an options report for how a marine protected area planning process might be approached in the San Francisco Bay Study Region.

Currently, a project is underway to develop the marine protected area planning options report that will consider the study region setting, including the socioeconomic and jurisdictional settings, existing planning and restoration efforts, overlap with current projects, informational needs of the community, and anticipated resources needed for implementation. The options report will also consider planning processes that have taken place within the study region, as well as lessons learned from previous marine protected area planning processes.

The options report was submitted to the California secretary for natural resources and director of fish and game in spring 2011. The report will also be shared with other policy makers, members of the public and potential funders who may have an interest in implementing MLPA in the San Francisco Bay Study Region.

To learn more about the MLPA in general, please visit Introduction to the MLPA.