The state of California has invited the public to be involved in the planning for the California south coast marine preserves as dictated by the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Below is a schedule of upcoming meetings of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, Master Plan Science Advisory Team and South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. All meetings are open to the public and are also simultaneously webcast on the day of the meeting at For more information on the MLPA Initiative, visit: Also, Information on how the community can get involved follows the meeting schedule below:

— Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Master Plan Science Advisory Team
Location TBD

— Tuesday, January 13, 2009 and Wednesday, January 14, 2009
South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
Location: San Diego area

— Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Master Plan Science Advisory Team
Location TBD

All meeting agendas are posted to the MLPA website at least a week in advance of the meeting and meeting materials are posted as soon as they become available. In addition to the simultaneous webcast of meetings, the video and audio archives are posted to the website within two days of each meeting.

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative invites the community to participate in helping redesign California’s marine protected areas in the MLPA South Coast Study Region. Their relationship with the ocean makes them a valuable asset for successful implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act.

Passed into California state law in 1999, the MLPA directs the California Department of Fish and Game to re-examine and redesign the state’s system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect, among other things, marine life, habitat, and ecosystems. Several types of MPAs are in use, which vary in the level of protection and amount of extractive uses that are allowed. The MLPA Initiative is a public-private partnership developed to help the State of California achieve the goals of the MLPA through a regional approach, which relies heavily on public involvement to inform the process. The MLPA Initiative is in the initial stages of the planning process for the MLPA South Coast Study Region – Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the border with Mexico, including all offshore islands – an area that likely includes some of your favorite spots. Each regional process is overseen by a blue ribbon task force, guided by the advice of a regional stakeholder group and science advisory team. The regional stakeholder group in each region is made up of individuals representing the diverse users and interests in the study region and plays a key role in developing MPA proposals.

Given the community’s vast knowledge of the marine resources in this region, it is essential to include their voice in the process. There are numerous opportunities to provide input that include:
—    Contact a member of the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group to express your interests and views;
— Provide written or verbal comment at meetings;
— Submit feedback on documents for comment available on the MLPA website;
— View live webcasts of meetings as they take place or archived versions of the meetings on the MLPA website;
— Submit general comments, ideas and suggestions via e-mail or regular mail;
— Sign up for the MLPA mailing list on the website to receive updates on key meetings, opportunities for comment and documents to review.

All meetings are open to the public and are announced via the mailing list; meeting agendas and materials are posted to the MLPA website as they become available. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the website and learn more about how these different stakeholders interact and contribute to the overall planning process.

For more information about the MLPA Initiative, visit, email, call 916.654.1885, or write:

Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
c/o California Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814