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Año Nuevo Marine Conservation Area

Like state and national parks protect wildlife and habitats on land, marine protected areas (MPAs) conserve and restore wildlife and habitats in our ocean. Under the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) passed in 1999, California began a historic effort to establish a science-based, statewide network of MPAs through a collaborative effort that includes the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks. California is taking a regional approach to the design and implementation of MPAs, and has divided the state into five regions: the north coast, south coast, north central coast, central coast and San Francisco Bay.

MPAs contribute to healthier, more resilient ocean ecosystems that can better withstand a wide range of impacts such as pollution and climate change. By protecting entire ecosystems rather than focusing on a single species, MPAs are powerful tools for conserving and restoring ocean biodiversity, and protecting cultural resources, while allowing certain activities such as marine recreation and research. There is a global body of scientific evidence about the effectiveness of marine protected areas and reserves to restore marine ecosystems (http://www.piscoweb.org/outreach/pubs/reserves).

In the waters adjacent to Año Nuevo State Park, there are 2 MPAs, Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area and Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area.
MPA Map
Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA):

  Extends from the mouth of Gazos Creek (San Mateo County) in the north to the north side of Greyhound Rock (Santa Cruz County) in the south.
  Año Nuevo is rich in history. For thousands of years, the Ohlone tribe used this area as a source of food, tools, shells, decorations, and tradable goods.
  The waters around Año Nuevo are teeming with life, including more than 300 species of invertebrates, numerous fish species, seabirds, and marine mammals.
  Permitted/Prohibited Uses: No recreational take allowed; Commercial take of giant kelp by hand harvest is allowed.
  Año Nuevo Brochure – includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA):
 

  Extends from the north side of Greyhound Rock in the north to the northern edge of Scott Creek Beach in the south.
  Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Allows recreational take of giant kelp by hand, squid, salmon, and by hook and line from shore only other finfish. Allows commercial take of salmon, squid, and giant kelp by hand.
  Año Nuevo Brochure – includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.


This information does not replace the official regulatory language found in California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 632, including commercial allowances and restrictions.

  A fishing license is required for any fishing.
  All existing take regulations still apply in addition to the ones listed above.
  Unless otherwise stated, all non-consumptive recreational activities are allowed.

Additional Resources

For additional information on MPAs please visit the California Department of Fish and Game’s website: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/

For resources related to MPAs, please visit the Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Initiative’s website: http://www.CaliforniaMPAs.org

A virtual tour of the area Marine Protected Areas can be viewed by clicking here:  MPA Virtual Tour.