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: Exposed rocky shoreline interspersed with cobble and sand beaches in protected coves. Rocky intertidal habitat drops off sharply offshore to patchy reefs in large areas of sand. Patches of surfgrass grow on subtidal rocks at 50 to 65-foot depths. Kelp beds are sparse, and urchins and brittle stars dominate the rocky subtidal habitats. Rocky subtidal habitat at 80 to 200 feet could support populations of white abalone. Continental shelf drops to about 660 feet within 0.5 miles of shore, and continues to drop to about 1300 feet within 3 miles of shore.
Surrounding habitat types: Similar habitats surround Santa Barbara Island. On the West side of the island there are exposed wash rocks.
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 rangers are present on the island.
Basic Evaluation: This is a recently established marine protected area. Refer to above review of baseline and ongoing monitoring and research studies.