Vandenberg State Marine Reserve

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Vandenberg State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area located offshore of Vandenberg Air Force Base, near the city of Lompoc on California’s central coast. The marine protected area covers 32.84 square miles (85.1 km2). Vandenberg SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited. [1]

Contents

History

Vandenberg SMR was established in September 2007 by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. 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

This marine protected area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: [3] 34° 44.65’ N. lat. 120° 37.75’ W. long.; 34° 44.65’ N. lat. 120° 40.00’ W. long.; 34° 33.25’ N. lat. 120° 40.00’ W. long.; and 34° 33.25’ N. lat. 120° 37.25’ W. long.

Habitat and wildlife

The Vandenberg area contains representative reef and sandy habitat as well as rocky cliffs that provide critical nesting habitat for guillemots, cormorants, and oystercatchers, and other seabirds. Forage studies in this area have documented a wide range of fish and invertebrate species associated with reef and sandy bottom habitats as well as the interactions between these prey species and seabirds and marine mammals using this area. [4]

Recreation and nearby attractions

To the north of Vandenberg SMR is Point Sal State Beach, an 80-acre (320,000 m2) park with 1 ½ miles of oceanfront. To the south is Gaviota State Park, a popular place for swimming, fishing and camping.

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.

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. [6]

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

Marine Life Protection Act

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was passed in 1999 and is part of the California Fish and Game Code. The MLPA requires California to reevaluate all existing marine protected areas (MPAs) and potentially design new MPAs that together function as a statewide network. The MLPA has clear guidance associated with the development of this MPA network. MPAs are developed on a regional basis with MLPA and MPA-specific goals in mind and are evaluated over time to assess their effectiveness in meeting these goals. The main six goals of the Marine Life Protection Act are to maintain the diversity of marine ecosystems, conserve its populations, better educate people on human-marine life interactions, protect habitats, and effectively enforce MPAs. The establishment of this policy is an important step in expanding science-based management and decision making regarding policies.

Moro Cojo Estuary State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area established to protect the wildlife and habitats in Moro Cojo Slough. Moro Cojo Slough is located inland from Monterey Bay on the central coast of California, directly south of the more widely known Elkhorn Slough. The area covers 0.46 square miles (1.2 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve Marine protected area immediately west of Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, California

Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area located at the northern edge of Santa Cruz, California, approximately 75 miles (121 km) south of San Francisco. The SMR covers 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing or other removal of any living marine resource is prohibited.

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.

Point Reyes State Marine Reserve & Point Reyes State Marine Conservation Area

Point Reyes State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Point Reyes State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that extend offshore of Point Reyes Headlands and within Drakes Bay in Marin County on California’s north central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 21.49 square miles, with 9.38 in the SMR, and 12.11 in the adjacent SMCA. Point Reyes SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources. Point Reyes SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources, except the recreational and commercial take of Dungeness crab by pot and salmon by trolling.

Carmel Pinnacles State Marine Reserve

Carmel Pinnacles State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area in Carmel Bay including a unique underwater pinnacle formation with adjacent kelp forest, submarine canyon head, and surfgrass. Carmel Bay is adjacent to the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea and is near Monterey, on California’s central coast.

Lovers Point State Marine Reserve

Lovers Point State Marine Reserve (SMR) 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). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that lie offshore of San Luis Obispo County on California’s central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 19.68 square miles (51.0 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Point Buchon State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area

Point Buchon State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Point Buchon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that lie offshore Point Buchon in San Luis Obispo County on California’s central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 18.21 square miles (47.2 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of any living marine resources is prohibited. Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Point Sur State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area

Point Sur State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Point Sur State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that lie offshore of Point Sur, part of the Big Sur area on California's central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 19.68 square miles (51.0 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

Naples State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area that protects Naples Reef which is about three-quarters of a mile offshore along the middle of the pristine and rural Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County on California’s south coast. The SMCA covers 2.58 square miles. The MPAs protects marine life by limiting the removal of wildlife from within its borders.

Point Conception State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area that extends offshore of Point Conception in Santa Barbara County on California’s south coast. The SMR covers 22.51 square miles. The SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

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.

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.

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.

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.

San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area near Del Mar in San Diego County on California’s south coast.

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.

References

  1. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/ccmpas_guide.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]
  2. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/ccmpas_guide.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]
  3. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/ccmpas_guide.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]
  4. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/revisedmp0108o.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-01-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/channel_islands/pdfs/handout_caselle.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]