Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area

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Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Bolsa Bay State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas located in Orange County on the southern coast of California. The SMCAs cover 0.66 and 0.07 square miles, respectively. The SMCAs protect marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders.

Contents

Activities

Bolsa Chica Basin SMCA prohibits take of all living marine resources except for take pursuant to routine operation and maintenance, habitat restoration, maintenance dredging, research and education, and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area per any required federal, state and local permits, or activities pursuant to Section 630, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the conservation area.

No person, except state and local law enforcement officers, fire suppression agencies and employees of the department in the performance of their official duties or persons possessing written permission from the department or employees of Signal Corporation and its invitees for the purpose of carrying out oil and gas operations, shall enter this conservation area and remain therein except on established trails, paths, or other designated areas.

No person shall enter this conservation area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Bolsa Bay SMCA prohibits take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line from shore in designated areas only, or take pursuant to routine operation and maintenance, habitat restoration, maintenance dredging, research and education, and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area per any required federal, state and local permits, or activities pursuant to Section 630, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the conservation area.

No person, except state and local law enforcement officers, fire suppression agencies and employees of the department in the performance of their official duties or persons possessing written permission from the department or employees of Signal Corporation and its invitees for the purpose of carrying out oil and gas operations, shall enter this conservation area and remain therein except on established trails, paths, or other designated areas.

No person shall enter this conservation area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. [1]

History

Bolsa Bay SMCA and Bolsa Chica Basin SMCA are two of 36 new marine protected areas adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission in December, 2010 during the third phase of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. The MLPAI is a collaborative public process to create a statewide network of protected areas along California’s coastline.

The south coast’s new marine protected areas were designed by local divers, fishermen, conservationists and scientists who comprised the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. Their job was to design a network of protected areas that would preserve sensitive sea life and habitats while enhancing recreation, study and education opportunities.

The south coast marine protected areas went into effect in 2012.

Geography and natural features

Bolsa Bay SMCA and Bolsa Chica Basin are marine protected areas in Orange County, CA.

Bolsa Bay SMCA: This area includes the waters below the mean high tide line within Bolsa Bay estuary southward of a line that approximates the Warner Avenue bridge located between the following two points:

1. 33°42.70′N118°10.63′W / 33.71167°N 118.17717°W / 33.71167; -118.17717 (1st corner)
2. 33°42.70′N118°03.61′W / 33.71167°N 118.06017°W / 33.71167; -118.06017 (2nd corner)
3. 33°42.22′N118°03.17′W / 33.70367°N 118.05283°W / 33.70367; -118.05283 (3rd corner)
4. 33°42.19′N118°03.18′W / 33.70317°N 118.05300°W / 33.70317; -118.05300 (4th corner)

Bolsa Chica Basin SMCA: This area includes the waters below the mean high tide line within the Bolsa Chica Basin estuary northeastward of the Pacific Coast Highway Bridge, approximated by a straight line between the following two points:

1. 33°41.02′N118°02.15′W / 33.68367°N 118.03583°W / 33.68367; -118.03583 (1st corner)
2. 33°40.98′N118°02.11′W / 33.68300°N 118.03517°W / 33.68300; -118.03517 (2nd corner)
3. 33°42.22′N118°03.17′W / 33.70367°N 118.05283°W / 33.70367; -118.05283 (3rd corner)
4. 33°42.19′N118°03.18′W / 33.70317°N 118.05300°W / 33.70317; -118.05300 (4th corner)

Habitat and wildlife

These areas protect rich estuarine and upland lagoon habitat and associated species.

Recreation and nearby attractions

Scientific monitoring

As specified by the Marine Life Protection Act, select marine protected areas along California’s south coast are being monitored by scientists to track their effectiveness and learn more about ocean health. Similar studies in marine protected areas located off of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands have already detected gradual improvements in fish size and number. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

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Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area in San Diego on California’s south coast. It is part of Batiquitos Lagoon, a coastal tidal wetland lying within the city limits of Carlsbad, California and adjacent to Encinitas, California. The SMCA covers 2000 miles. The SMCA protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders.

Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area in San Diego on California’s south coast. It consists of a 25-acre wetland and a 12-acre natural channel connecting to the San Diego River estuary. It is flushed by salt water from the estuary as well as rainwater from the surrounding neighborhood. It is owned and maintained by the City of San Diego as a natural park.

Goleta Slough State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area in Goleta in Santa Barbara County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers .25 square miles. The SMCA protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders. Goleta Slough SMCA prohibits take of all living marine resources except for take pursuant to routine maintenance, dredging, habitat restoration, research and education, maintenance of artificial structures, and operation and maintenance of existing facilities in the conservation area per any required federal, state and local permits, or activities pursuant to Section 630, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

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Upper Newport Bay State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area in Newport Bay in Orange County and the South Coast region of Southern California. It extends inland/northeast from the Pacific Coast Highway crossing of the bay, within the city of Newport Beach.

Bird Rock State Marine Conservation Area and Blue Cavern State Marine Conservation Areas (SMCA) are two contiguous marine protected areas that include offshore, island marine habitat at Catalina Island off California's south coast. The SMCAs covers 7.69 and 2.61 square miles respectively. The SMCAs protect marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders.

Lovers Cove State Marine Conservation Area and Casino Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCAs) are two nearby marine protected areas that include offshore, island marine habitat on opposite sides of Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island, off California's south coast. The SMCAs cover .06 and .01 square miles respectively. These SMCAs function essentially as dive areas in this popular diving and water sports area. The SMCAs protect marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders.

Cat Harbor State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that includes offshore, island marine habitat at Catalina Island off California's south coast. The SMCA covers .24 square miles. The SMCA protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders. Cat Harbor SMCA prohibits take of all living marine resources except: recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line or by spearfishing, squid by hook-and-line, and lobster and sea urchin is allowed; commercial take of sea cucumbers by diving only, and spiny lobster and sea urchin is allowed. Aquaculture of finfish pursuant to any required state permits is allowed.

References

  1. California Department of Fish and Game
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)