Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area

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View of Greyhound Rock Beach, part of the Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area Greyhound Rock Beach looking south.jpg
View of Greyhound Rock Beach, part of the Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of two adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of San Mateo County and Santa Cruz County, on California's central coast. The area is approximately 55 miles (89 km) south of San Francisco. The SMCA is 11.81 square miles (30.6 km2). Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of giant kelp, squid, salmon, and other finfish, subject to various conditions. Also permitted is the commercial take of giant kelp, salmon, and squid, subject to various conditions. [1]

Contents

History

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area was established in September 2007 by the California Department of Fish & Game. It was one of 29 marine protected areas adopted during the first phase of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. The Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (or MLPAI) is a collaborative public process to create a statewide network of marine protected areas along the California coastline. [2]

Geography and natural features

View of Greyhound Rock Beach, part of the SMCA Greyhound Rock Beach looking north.jpg
View of Greyhound Rock Beach, part of the SMCA

Greyhound Rock SMCA is adjacent to Ano Nuevo State Park. Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area adjoins the site to the north.

This marine protected area is bounded by the mean high tide line, the offshore boundary of 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted: [3]

  1. 37°04.70′N122°16.20′W / 37.07833°N 122.27000°W / 37.07833; -122.27000 (corner #1)
  2. 37°04.70′N122°21.00′W / 37.07833°N 122.35000°W / 37.07833; -122.35000 (corner #2)
  3. 37°03.55′N122°21.00′W / 37.05917°N 122.35000°W / 37.05917; -122.35000 (corner #3) thence southward along the offshore boundary of 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) to
  4. 37°02.57′N122°19.10′W / 37.04283°N 122.31833°W / 37.04283; -122.31833 (corner #4) and
  5. 37°02.57′N122°14.00′W / 37.04283°N 122.23333°W / 37.04283; -122.23333 (corner #5) .
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  
Download coordinates as: KML  ·  GPX

Habitat and wildlife

Elephant seals at Ano Nuevo during the mating season in early February Ano Nuevo seals.jpg
Elephant seals at Año Nuevo during the mating season in early February

Point Año Nuevo is used by thousands of breeding seabirds and marine mammals and supports a world-famous elephant seal haul out and breeding ground. The waters surrounding the point attract a concentration of great white sharks and include documented “hotspots” for depleted canary rockfish. Threatened marbled murrelets rest on shore and forage in the lee of the point.

Greyhound Rock SMCA provides habitat for a variety of marine life, and includes rocky intertidal, sandy beach, estuary, offshore rocks and islands, shale reef, bull kelp and giant kelp forest. [4]

Recreation and nearby attractions

The adjacent Ano Nuevo State Reserve and Ano Nuevo State Park have extensive docent programs (including docent lead tours to the elephant seal colony during the months of December through March in Ano Nuevo State Reserve), outreach and interpretive facilities, parking, and an on-site ranger presence to assist with management and enforcement.

California's marine protected areas encourage recreational and educational uses of the ocean. [5] Activities such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, and swimming are allowed unless otherwise restricted.

Public coastal access in the Greyhound Rock SMCA includes Greyhound Rock Beach and the northern edge of Scott's Creek Beach. [6] [7]

Scientific monitoring

As specified by the Marine Life Protection Act, select marine protected areas along California's central 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. [8]

Local scientific and educational institutions involved in the monitoring include Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, University of California Santa Cruz, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Research methods include hook-and-line sampling, intertidal and scuba diver surveys, and the use of Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) submarines.

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.

Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area

Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area in Carmel Bay. Carmel Bay is adjacent to the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea and is near Monterey, on California’s central coast. The marine protected area covers 2.12 square miles. Recreational fishing of finfish and limited commercial taking of kelp is permitted within the SMCA.

Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area

Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that extends offshore, just south of Schooner Gulch State Beach and north of Sail Rock in Mendocino County on California’s north central coast. The marine protected area covers 9.35 square miles. Saunders Reef SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the commercial and recreational take of salmon by trolling and the commercial take of urchin.

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.

Duxbury Reef State Marine Conservation Area

Duxbury Reef State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area located about 1 mile (2 km) west of Bolinas in Marin County on California’s north central coast. This marine protected area covers 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2). Duxbury Reef SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the recreational take of finfish from shore only and the recreational take of abalone.

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.

Bodega Head State Marine Reserve & Bodega Head State Marine Conservation Area protected marine areas in California

Bodega Head State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Bodega Head State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas off Bodega Bay in Sonoma County on California’s north-central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 21.64 square miles (56.0 km2), with 9.3 square miles (24 km2) in the SMR, and 12.34square miles in the SMCA. Bodega Head SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources. Bodega Head SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the recreational and commercial take of pelagic finfish with troll fishing gear or seine, Dungeness crab by trap, and market squid by hand-held dip net and round haul net.

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.

Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve & Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area

Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas along the Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County on California’s north central coast. These marine protected areas cover a combined 4.04 square miles (10.5 km2), with 1.49 square miles (3.9 km2) in the SMR and 2.55 square miles (6.6 km2) in the SMCA. Drakes Estero SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources from Drakes Estero except the recreational take of clams and formerly the commercial aquaculture of shellfish pursuant to a disputed state water bottom lease and permit, which has been the subject of ongoing legal proceedings since 2012, when the lease was allowed to expire.

Russian River State Marine Reserve and Russian River State Marine Conservation Area marine protected areas in California

Russian River State Marine Recreational Management Area (SMRMA) and Russian River State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas in the Russian River estuary area in Sonoma County, California, on the north-central coast of the state. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 1.21 square miles (3.1 km2), with 0.35 square miles (0.91 km2) in the SMRMA and 0.86 square miles (2.2 km2) in the SMCA.

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."

Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is an offshore marine protected area in Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay is on California’s central coast with the city of Monterey at its south end and the city of Santa Cruz at its north end. The SMCA covers 10.9 square miles (28 km2). Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of pelagic finfish.

Soquel Canyon State Marine Conservation Area

Soquel Canyon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is an offshore marine protected area in Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay is on California’s central coast with the city of Monterey at its south end and the city of Santa Cruz at its north end. The SMCA covers 23.41 square miles (60.6 km2). Within the SMCA, fishing and taking of any living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of pelagic finfish.

White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area

White Rock (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. The marine protected area covers 2.32 square miles (6.0 km2). Within the SMCA the take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial take of giant kelp and bull kelp under certain conditions.

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.

Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

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.

Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that extends offshore in Santa Barbara County on California's south coast. The marine protected area covers 1.99 square miles. The marine protected areas protect natural habitats and marine life by protecting or limiting removal of wildlife from within their boundaries. Kashtayit SMCA prohibits take of living marine resources except: recreational take of finfish, invertebrates except rock scallops and mussels, and giant kelp by hand harvest is allowed.

Farnsworth Onshore and Farnsworth Offshore State Marine Conservation Areas (SMCAs) are two contiguous marine protected areas that include offshore, island marine habitat off California’s south coast. The SMCAs covers 2.57 and 6.67 square miles respectively. The SMCAs protect marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders. Farnsworth Onshore 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, and marlin, tunas, and dorado (dolphinfish) by trolling is allowed; commercial take of coastal pelagic species by round haul net and swordfish by harpoon is allowed.

References

  1. California Department of Fish and Game. "Online Guide to California’s Central Coast Marine Protected Areas Archived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine ". Retrieved on December 18, 2008
  2. California Department of Fish and Game. "Online Guide to California’s Central Coast Marine Protected Areas Archived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine ". Retrieved on December 18, 2008
  3. California Department of Fish and Game. "Central Coast Marine Protected Areas". Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  4. Department of Fish and Game. "Appendix O. Regional MPA Management Plans". Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas (approved February 2008). Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  5. Department of Fish and Game. "California Fish and Game Code section 2853 (b)(3) Archived 2013-03-26 at the Wayback Machine ". Marine Life Protection Act. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  6. "Coastal Access". Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  7. "Año Nuevo State Marine Reserve". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  8. Castell, Jenn, et al. "How do patterns of abundance and size structure differ between fished and unfished waters in the Channel Islands? Results from SCUBA surveys Archived 2010-05-31 at the Wayback Machine ". Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Santa Cruz; Channel Islands National Park. Retrieved December 18, 2008.