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Asilomar State Marine Reserve

Monterey Peninsula MPAs: Asilomar SMR, Pacific Grove Marine Gardens SMCA, Lovers Point SMR, and Edward F. Ricketts SMCA

Like state and national parks protect wildlife and habitats on land, marine protected areas (MPAs) conserve and restore wildlife and habitats in our ocean. Under the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) passed in 1999, California began a historic effort to establish a science-based, statewide network of MPAs through a collaborative effort that includes the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks. California is taking a regional approach to the design and implementation of MPAs, and has divided the state into five regions: the north coast, south coast, north central coast, central coast and San Francisco Bay.

MPAs contribute to healthier, more resilient ocean ecosystems that can better withstand a wide range of impacts such as pollution and climate change. By protecting entire ecosystems rather than focusing on a single species, MPAs are powerful tools for conserving and restoring ocean biodiversity, and protecting cultural resources, while allowing certain activities such as marine recreation and research. There is a global body of scientific evidence about the effectiveness of marine protected areas and reserves to restore marine ecosystems (http://www.piscoweb.org/outreach/pubs/reserves).

In the waters adjacent to Asilomar State Beach, there is one MPA, Asilomar State Marine Reserve (SMR).

  • Asilomar State Marine Reserve (SMR)
    • Extends from the ocean side of Point Pinos to Point Joe
    • The amazing marine life of the Monterey Peninsula draws thousands of visitors each year to fish, dive, hike, whale watch and kayak.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: No fishing. All take of living marine resources is prohibited.
    • Monterey Peninsula Brochure - includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.

In waters near Asilomar State Beach, there are an additional 3 MPAs, Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA), Lovers Point State Marine Reserve (SMR,) and Edward F. Ricketts SMCA.

  • Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)
    • Extends from Lovers Point to the Monterey Bay side of Point Pinos.
    • Widespread tidepools abound with hardy organisms such as mussels, sea stars, and sea urchins, species, which can tolerate the harsh conditions of life on the edge of the sea.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Allows recreational take of finfish; Allows commercial take of giant kelp and bull kelp by hand. No fishing. All take of living marine resources is prohibited.
    • Monterey Peninsula Brochure - includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.

  • Lovers Point State Marine Reserve (SMR)
    • Extends from the western edge of the Monterey Bay Aquarium to Lovers Point including Hopkins Marine Station
    • With pre-eminent research institutions such as Hopkins Marine Station (one of the first in the U.S.) close by, the rocky intertidal and kelp forest communities of the Monterey Peninsula MPAs provide natural laboratories for research.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: No fishing. All take of living marine resources is prohibited.
    • Monterey Peninsula Brochure - includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.

  • Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)
    • Extends from the rock jetty known as the Coast Guard Jetty to the western edge of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
    • Marine mammals such as sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals, rest on rocky shores. Large numbers of sea lions can be seen resting along the Coast Guard Jetty.
    • Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Recreational hook and line fishing allowed.
    • Monterey Peninsula Brochure - includes additional information on the natural history, key species, and regulations of this MPA, as well as a detailed map with GPS coordinates of the area.

This information does not replace the official regulatory language found in California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 632, including commercial allowances and restrictions.

  • A fishing license is required for any fishing.
  • All existing take regulations still apply in addition to the ones listed above.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all non-consumptive recreational activities are allowed.

Additional Resources:

For additional information on MPAs please visit the California Department of Fish and Game’s website: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/

For resources related to MPAs, please visit the Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Initiative’s website: http://www.CaliforniaMPAs.org