Monday, August 15, 2011


New Study Proves MPAs can Produce Miracle Results.

A new study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography has proven marine reserves—stretches of protected ocean habitat—to be even more powerful than previously thought.  These undersea parks can transform depleted areas into powerhouses of productivity, boosting fishermen’s catches and profits, as well as tourism and recreation activity.

The report showed the number of fish in a marine reserve near the southern tip of Baja California soared 463 percent between 1999 and 2009. That’s a world record, said authors of the peer-reviewed paper, which was published today in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

Octavio Aburto-Oropeza from Scripps, who led the decade-long research project at Cabo Pulmo told KGTV in San Diego that he hopes the success from Baja will inspire smart resource management elsewhere in the world:

"Few policymakers around the world are aware that fish size and abundance can increase inside marine reserves to extraordinary levels within a decade after protection is established -- fewer still know that these increases often translate into economic benefits for coastal communities…Therefore, showing what's happened in Cabo Pulmo will contribute to ongoing conservation efforts in the marine environment and recovery of local coastal economies."

Marine ecologist Enric Sala said in National Geographic:

" A scientific study published today by the Public Library of Science shows that protecting an area brings the fish back, and creates jobs and increases economic revenue for the local communities. I have seen it with my own eyes and, believe me, it is like a miracle, only that it is not–it's just common business sense."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


What? Your Favorite Park is Closed?

We all knew it was coming--the day when nearly 25% of California state parks would shutdown in order to "close the budget" gap.  But what we didn't know was that some Parks we thought were safe are   actually being impacted too!

Surfrider recently learned, via our friends at the California State Park Foundation (CSPF), that a popular urban park in Los Angeles (Baldwin Hills) is now closed five or six days a week due to lack of funds.   What's ironic is that this is a new facility and now it will be inaccessible to millions of people.

As CSPF says, "this is a heads up for you"!  Even though your favorite park might have escaped the list of closures, it doesn't mean it won't be "nearly closed" due to reduced hours and services.  If you are seeing changed hours and services at your favorite park, post a message to CSPF's Facebook page.  

Continue to check back to this page and CSPF's website to learn more about new ideas to help mitigate the massive park closures.  


Major Monitoring Efforts Set for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Southern California

With the adoption of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in southern California, and the implementation date of Oct 1, 2011, the Surfrider Foundation is very pleased to learn about the $4 million the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) recently awarded to several institutions to conduct monitoring (over a three year period) in order to establish a baseline for the newly established MPAs.  The data collected will focus on commercial and recreational activities, and will also analyze marine species and habitat.

Photo Credit: Wisniewski/Reef Check California  
The exciting part about this data collection is that monitoring will take place inside and outside of protected areas.  One of the main reasons Surfrider Foundation supports MPAs is because we are convinced "spillover" from MPAs will help repopulate species and improve overall ocean health outside of protected areas (thus multiplying MPAproductivity).  The data collected by SDSU, UCSD, and CA Fish and Game researchers will be particularly interesting as commercial lobster fishermen will help tag and recapture lobsters to assess "spillover" from MPAs to others areas of the ocean and also monitor lobster movement patterns, and how far these little critters travel.   To learn more about the different types of monitoring programs, read the press release here.


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Stefanie Sekich-Quinn

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