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Point Dume SMCA and Point Dume SMR

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 Point Dume State Beach, there are two MPAs, Point Dume State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Point Dume State Marine Reserve (SMR).

  • Point Dume 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:
      34° 02.28' N. lat. 118° 53.00' W. long.;
      33° 59.14' N. lat. 118° 53.00' W. long.;
      thence southeastward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
      33° 56.96' N. lat. 118° 49.20' W. long.; and
      34° 00.76' N. lat. 118° 49.20' W. long.
    • The incredible vistas at Point Dume provide an opportunity to view sea lions, harbor seals and dolphins in the surf only a few dozen feet away. This promontory also provides one of the few dry-land viewing sites for migrating gray whales that lets you get close enough to count their barnacles! The best viewing time for these majestic creatures is November through April. To see the newborn whale calves migrate, be here from February on into the spring.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited EXCEPT the recreational take of pelagic finfish including Pacific bonito and white seabass by spearfishing and the commercial take of coastal pelagic species by round haul net and swordfish by harpoon.

  • Point Dume 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:
      34° 00.76' N. lat. 118° 49.20' W. long.;
      33° 56.96' N. lat. 118° 49.20' W. long.;
      thence eastward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
      33° 57.06' N. lat. 118° 47.26' W. long.; and
      34° 01.20' N. lat. 118° 47.26' W. long.
    • Point Dume is an ideal point break for experienced surfers unafraid of a 20-minute walk and climb over the rocks and a desire to surf among movie stars. A regional classic, surfing at or around Point Dume brings the ocean experience into focus. An offshore canyon funnels waves and fish food into dense, wave grooming kelp forests where large sheephead, fat rockfish and the occasional humpback whale rub elbows. Ocean wilderness, Hollywood style! – Surfing California’s Marine Protected Areas
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

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/