Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

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Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of four adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of Orange County, CA, on California’s South Coast. By itself, the SMCA measures 3.45 square miles. The SMCA protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders, including tide pools. Dana Point SMCA prohibits take of living marine resources except: only the following species may be taken recreationally below the mean lower low tide line only: finfish by hook-and-line or by spearfishing, and lobster and sea urchin. The commercial take of coastal pelagic species by round haul net, and spiny lobster and sea urchin only is allowed.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Spiny lobster family of crustaceans

Spiny lobsters, also known as langustas, langouste, or rock lobsters, are a family (Palinuridae) of about 60 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. Spiny lobsters are also, especially in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the Bahamas, called crayfish, sea crayfish, or crawfish, terms which elsewhere are reserved for freshwater crayfish.

Sea urchin Class of echinoderms

Sea urchins, are typically spiny, globular animals, echinoderms in the class Echinoidea. About 950 species live on the seabed, inhabiting all oceans and depth zones from the intertidal to 5,000 metres. Their tests are round and spiny, typically from 3 to 10 cm across. Sea urchins move slowly, crawling with their tube feet, and sometimes pushing themselves with their spines. They feed primarily on algae but also eat slow-moving or sessile animals. Their predators include sea otters, starfish, wolf eels, triggerfish, and humans.

Contents

Spiny lobster Spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus).jpg
Spiny lobster
Sea Urchin Riccio Melone a Capo Caccia adventurediving.it.jpg
Sea Urchin

Dana Point's 7.5 miles of coastline consists of a myriad of marine habitats. [1] Animals and plants suited to sandy beaches, rocky intertidal and kelp forest ecosystems abound here.

Take pursuant to operation and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area is allowed per any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Take of all living marine resources from inside tidepools is prohibited. For purposes of this section, tidepools are defined as the area encompassing the rocky pools that are filled with seawater due to retracting tides between the mean higher high tide line and the mean lower low tide line. Please see the following for official details on boundaries, regulations and other information:

[2]

History

Dana Point SMCA is one 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. This initiative modified, updated and reorganized the MPAs along the shoreline of southern Orange County.

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

Dana Point SMCA is a marine protected area that includes the nearshore area off the area between Laguna Beach and Dana Point in Orange County on California’s south coast.

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

  1. 33°30.050′N117°44.771′W / 33.500833°N 117.746183°W / 33.500833; -117.746183 (1st corner)
  2. 33°30.050′N117°46.000′W / 33.500833°N 117.766667°W / 33.500833; -117.766667 (2nd corner)
  3. 33°30.000′N117°46.000′W / 33.500000°N 117.766667°W / 33.500000; -117.766667 (3rd corner)
  4. 33°27.300′N117°43.300′W / 33.455000°N 117.721667°W / 33.455000; -117.721667 (4th corner)
  5. 33°27.478′N117°42.276′W / 33.457967°N 117.704600°W / 33.457967; -117.704600 (4th corner) and
  6. 33°27.622′N117°42.425′W / 33.460367°N 117.707083°W / 33.460367; -117.707083 (4th corner) .

Habitat and wildlife

Dana Point SMCA protects kelp forest/surf grass and rocky reef habitat and associated species. It provides protection of intertidal invertebrate species such as Kellet's whelks, top shells, limpets and sea cucumbers and abalone while allowing lobster and urchin and finfish take.

<i>Kelletia kelletii</i> species of mollusc

Kelletia kelletii, common name Kellet's whelk, is a species of large sea snail, a whelk, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Recreation and nearby attractions

Spanning the scenic shoreline of south Orange County from south of Newport Beach to the Dana Point Harbor, the south Orange County MPA complexes sit amongst some of southern California’s most visited coastal recreation amenities. Miles of sandy beaches, coves and points, and blufftop hiking trails are available for beachcombing, wading, surfing, snorkeling and kayaking. To the north, Crystal Cove State Beach abuts the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area, providing access trails, interpretative signage and kiosks, along with restrooms and visitor facilities. Popular scuba diving and snorkeling spots also dot the State Park’s coastline. Laguna Beach SMR sits among numerous sandy coves with dramatic rock formations and fascinating tidepools, along with famous surfing spots such as Aliso Beach, Doheney, and Salt Creek. Throughout this area, collecting living marine resources from the intertidal area is prohibited to preserve wildlife, while some fishing opportunities are available offshore along the Crystal Cove and Dana Point coastline outside the Laguna Beach SMR and SMCA.

Inland, both Crystal Cove State Park and Aliso Canyon Regional Park offer hiking and picnicking opportunities within their protected borders. Visitor services including fine dining and refreshments, lodging, museums and other visitor attractions abound within this urban and tourist-friendly area. The City of Laguna beach is a top southern California tourist attraction, hosting art galleries and beachside restaurants.

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. [3]

Related Research Articles

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of two adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties, on California’s central coast.The area is approximately 55 miles south of San Francisco. The SMCA is 11.07 square miles. Except for limited taking of giant kelp, all living marine resources are protected.

Sea Lion Cove State Marine Conservation Area

Sea Lion Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that lies onshore, just south of Point Arena in Mendocino County on California’s north central coast. The marine protected area covers 0.22 square miles. Sea Lion Cove SMCA prohibits the commercial and recreational take of invertebrates, algae and other plants, but allows the take of all other species.

Stewarts Point State Marine Reserve & Stewarts Point State Marine Conservation Area

Stewarts Point State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Stewarts Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore from about a mile south of Black Point to Fisk Mill Cove, in Sonoma County on California’s north central coast. The marine protected areas cover 25.22 square miles. Stewarts Point SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources. Stewarts Point SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except recreational shore based take of marine aquatic plants, marine invertebrates, finfish by hook and line, surf smelt by beach net, and species authorized by Title 14 Section 28.80 by hand-held dip net.

Salt Point State Marine Conservation Area marine protected area in California

Salt Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that lies onshore from Fisk Mill Cove and south along Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County on California’s north central coast. The marine protected area covers 3.12 square miles. Salt Point SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the recreational take of abalone and finfish.

Montara State Marine Reserve & Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area

Montara State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore from Montara to Pillar Point in San Mateo County on California’s north central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 18.42 square miles (47.7 km2), with 11.76 square miles (30.5 km2) in the SMR and 6.66 in the SMCA. Montara SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources. Pillar Point SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the recreational and commercial take of pelagic finfish by trolling or seine, the commercial or recreational take of Dungeness crab by trap and the commercial or recreational take or market squid by hand-held dip net or round haul net.

Cambria State Marine Conservation Area

Cambria State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area located off the coast of the city of Cambria, California on California’s central coast in San Luis Obispo County, California. The marine protected area covers 6.26 square miles (16.2 km2). Within the SMCA recreational fishing and take is allowed while commercial fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area

Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area is one of four small marine protected areas located near the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, at the southern end of Monterey Bay on California’s central coast. The four areas together encompass 2.96 square miles (7.7 km2). Within SMCAs fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line and the commercial take of giant and bull kelp under certain conditions.

Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area

Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area is one of four small marine protected areas located near the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, at the southern end of Monterey Bay on California’s central coast. The four MPAs together encompass 2.96 square miles (7.7 km2). Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish and the commercial take of giant and bull kelp by hand under certain conditions. According to the Frommer's guide, the Marine Gardens area is "renowned for ocean views, flowers, and tide-pool seaweed beds."

Abalone Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Point Vicente State Marine Reserve (SMR) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore in Los Angeles County on California's south coast. The two marine protected areas cover 19.87 square miles. The marine protected areas protect natural habitats and marine life by protecting or limiting removal of wildlife from within their boundaries. Point Vicente SMR, prohibits all take of living marine resources. Abalone Cove SMCA, prohibits take of all living marine resources, except recreational take of pelagic finfish, including Pacific bonito and white seabass by spearfishing, market squid by hand-held dip net, commercial take of coastal pelagic species and Pacific bonito by round haul net, and swordfish by harpoon.

Point Dume State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Point Dume State Marine Reserve (SMR) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore in Los Angeles County on California’s south coast. Together, the areas cover 23.28 square miles, protecting natural habitats and marine life by protecting or limiting removal of wildlife from within their boundaries.

San Diego-Scripps Coastal Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve (SMR) are adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore from La Jolla in San Diego County on California’s south coast. The two marine protected areas cover 2.51 square miles. San Diego-Scripps Coastal SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except that coastal pelagic species, not including market squid, may be taken recreationally by hook and line. Matlahuayl SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore in San Diego County on California’s south coast. The two marine protected areas cover 7.51 square miles. The SMR protects marine life by prohibiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders, while the SMCA limits removal of marine wildlife.

Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that extends offshore of Encinitas in San Diego County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers 12.65 square miles. The SMCA protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders.

Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of a cluster of four adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore of Newport Beach in Orange County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers 3.45 square miles of near shore waters. Crystal Cove protects marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders, including tide pools. Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except: recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line or by spearfishing, and lobster and sea urchin is allowed. Commercial take of coastal pelagic species by round haul net, spiny lobster by trap, and sea urchin is allowed.

Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore of Laguna Beach in Orange County on California’s south coast. The SMR covers 6.27 square miles, and the SMCA covers an additional 3.44 square miles. These two MPAs are part of a four-MPA complex on the coast of southern Orange County. Each protects marine life by prohibiting or limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders.

Tijuana River Mouth State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that extends offshore of southern San Diego County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers 2.91 square miles.

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.

San Elijo Lagoon SMCA (SMCA) is a marine protected area that protects the lagoon near Encinitas in San Diego County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers .44 square miles. The SMCA protects marine by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders. San Elijo SMCA prohibits take of all living marine resources except operation and maintenance, maintenance dredging, habitat restoration including sediment deposition, 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 632, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

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.

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. "Natural Resources". City of Dana Point. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  2. California Department of Fish and Game. "".
  3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)