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 (

In the waters adjacent to Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, there is one MPA, Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA).

  • Double Cone Rock 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:
      39° 48.500' N. lat. 123° 50.713' W. long.;
      39° 48.500' N. lat. 123° 55.875' W. long.;
      thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
      39° 44.300' N. lat. 123° 54.178' W. long.; and
      39° 44.300' N. lat. 123° 50.055' W. long.
    • Double Cone Rock SMCA is 20+ miles north of Fort Bragg, just past the point where Highway One leaves the coast. At Rockport you can hike down to Rockport Bay. Look north to the Double Cone SMCA, and look south to Rockport Rocks, a special closure area 300 feet out from the rocks. You can see more of Double Cone Rock SMCA by going north to Usal Road and driving to Usal Beach. ROADS MAY BE IMPASSABLE IN WET WEATHER. RV'S & TRAILERS NOT RECOMMENDED.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited EXCEPT the recreational take of salmon by trolling and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand; the commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear and Dungeness crab by trap.
    • The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(16)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
      • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
      • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
      • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
      • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
      • Guidiville Rancheria
      • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
      • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
      • Lower Lake Rancheria
      • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
      • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
      • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
      • Potter Valley Tribe
      • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
      • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
      • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
      • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
      • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians

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:

For resources related to MPAs, please visit the Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Initiative’s website: