Support Marine Protected Areas in Southern California

We all know our ocean is not in the shape it used to be.  Whether it is pollution, climate change, or mismanagement of resources--our ocean needs help.   In order to improve our ocean's health, the State of California is setting aside Marine Protected Areas.  These protected areas act as refuges to allow marine life to rebuild fish populations and habitats.

After nearly 2 years, the maps have gone through a series of planning stages and different decision making panels.  The Blue Ribbon Task Force unanimously voted to forward a final map to the Fish and Game Commission. The map, called the Integrated Preferred Alternative (IPA), is a hybrid map representing diverse Stakeholder views (and several maps that have been produced over the years).

The MLPA was designed and written to ensure diverse views were incorporated into the final map.   The Surfrider Foundation supports the IPA because we believe it contains the perspectives of all ocean users.  The IPA is a plan that will set aside rich places like La Jolla, Naples Reef, and Point Dume while leaving more than 90% of the coastline open for fishing.

The Commission will base its decision on public support--and that's why they need to hear from you!  Please take action NOW by sending the below letter--express that you are concerned about preserving ocean resources and that you support the IPA. 

If you live in southern California, please attend the Commission hearing on Dec 15 at 9am and voice your support for the IPA (click here for more info).

To learn more about Surfrider’s work on the MLPA, go to our blog here:

This action is no longer active. To view the current list of our active campaigns click here

Background Information

Why Marine Protected Areas?

California has more than 1000 miles of coastline and some of the world’s richest and most diverse ocean ecosystems. California is also the number one travel destination in the U.S. Over 12 million people each year come to visit our tidepools, watch whales and dolphins play along our shore and, of course, spend time at our extraordinary beaches. Many Californians and visitors enjoy recreational activities that are greatly enhanced by healthy oceans – and many of us want fully protected areas simply to know some special places will be left in a relatively undisturbed natural state for future generations.  Human activities have burdened our ocean and  now is the time to restore our coastal waters, so they can be productive far into the future. By setting aside part of our oceans today, we take an important step to ensure they will be healthy tomorrow.

The Law

The MLPA is a law that requires the state to establish a “network” of marine protected areas from Oregon to the Mexican border.   The goals of the MLPA are to: ‘set aside’ areas of the ocean to increase fish populations, enhance marine habitat, and to improve recreational and educational opportunities.   Over the past year, Surfrider has been working with diverse groups of people including recreationalists, fishermen, environmentalists, and Chapter activists to ensure the law meets the goal of protecting special places, but also balances that goal to ensure ample opportunities for fishing.

To learn more go here:  (use the link resources on the right hand side to gain insight into the MLPA and Surfrider’s role within the process).

How do I learn more about the IPA?

To view the IPA go here: