Marine Conservation Institute, recognizing the need for more and better ocean protection, is leading a major initiative to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. Launched in 2017, Blue Parks is an innovative strategy to incentivize decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism. Learn more about the program at blueparks.org
Habitat types: Richardson Rock is the most remote exposed offshore pinnacle in the region. The SMR contains only a few emergent offshore rocks with the majority of habitat underlying open water subject to the influence of seasonal upwelling. Subtidal habitat is mixed sand and rock. The area supports numerous cold-water fish and invertebrate species.
Surrounding habitat types: Surrounding habitats are deep rock and soft bottom with a similar high relief reef to the east at Wilson Rock.
Summary of existing regulations: No take is allowed.
Primary objectives: A state marine reserve by definition may achieve one or more of the following goals:
Protect or restore rare, threatened or endangered native plants, animals, or habitats in marine areas;
Protect or restore outstanding, representative, or imperiled marine species, communities, habitats, and ecosystems;
Protect or restore diverse marine gene pools;
Contribute to the understanding and management of marine resources and ecosystems by providing the opportunity for scientific research in outstanding, representative, or imperiled marine habitats or ecosystems.
Existing Enforcement: Included as part of normal Department of Fish and Game marine patrol activities for this general area based on available patrol resources and level of fishery activity in the area. Channel Islands MPAs have been given a high priority for enforcement. A new, 54 foot, patrol vessel and several smaller vessels have been dedicated to Island patrols. National Park island rangers are present on San Miguel Island.
Basic Evaluation: This is a recently established marine protected area. Refer to above review of baseline and ongoing monitoring and research studies.