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Point Buchon State Marine Reserve

Point Buchon State Marine Reserve and State 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 Wildlife 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 the Montaña de Oro State Park there are two MPAs, Point Buchon State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)

  • Point Buchon State Marine Reserve (SMR)
    • This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
      35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 54.00' W. long.;
      35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.;
      35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.; and
      35° 13.30' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.
    • Point Buchon, which means goiter in Spanish, has over 9,000 years of Native American history and is considered a spiritual area by the Chumash.
    • Secluded sandy beaches and offshore reefs provide safety for harbor seals and southern sea otters. These marine mammals pup and haul out on the near- shore rocky reefs.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: No fishing. All take of living marine resources is prohibited.
    • Point Buchon Brochure - information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.
  • Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)
    • This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
      35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.;
      35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 57.80' W. long.;
      thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
      35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 55.20' W. long.;
      35° 11.00' N. lat. 120° 52.40' W. long.; and
      35° 15.25' N. lat. 120° 56.00' W. long.
    • Point Buchon is an area of California’s central coast important for its biological diversity, and it is known for coldwater corals found in unusually shallow water.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: No recreational fishing or take of plants and invertebrates; except, recreational and commercial fishing of salmon and albacore is allowed.
    • Point Buchon Brochure - 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 Wildlife'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