User:OceanVolunteer/Catalina Island Marine Protected Areas

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Catalina Island Marine Protected Areas

Arrow Point to Lion Head Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) Bird Rock State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) Blue Cavern State Marine Reserve (SMR) Casino Point State Marine Reserve (SMR) Cat Harbor State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) Farnsworth Bank Offshore State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) Farnsworth Bank Onshore State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) Long Point State Marine Reserve (SMR) Lover’s Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)

These are marine protected areas that extend offshore from Santa Catalina Island off California’s south coast. The 9 marine protected areas cover 22.21 square miles. The SMCAs permit some fishing, as described in the Recreation section below. The SMRs prohibit the take of all living marine resources.

History[edit]

These areas are 9 of 36 marine protected areas adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission in December, 2010 during the third phase of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPAI). The MLPAI is a collaborative public process to create a statewide network of protected areas along California’s coastline.

The south coast’s new marine protected areas were designed by local divers, fishermen, conservationists and scientists who comprised the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. Their job was to design a network of protected areas that would preserve sensitive sea life and habitats while enhancing recreation, study and education opportunities.

The south coast marine protected areas are expected to take effect in 2011.

Geography and natural features[edit]

Arrow Point to Lion Head Point SMCA is bounded by the mean high tide line to a distance of 1000 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline southeastward of a line connecting the following two points: 33° 28.660’ N. lat. 118° 32.310’ W. long.; and 33° 28.820’ N. lat. 118° 32.310’ W. long. And northwestward of a line connecting the following two points: 33° 27.240’ N. lat. 118° 29.900’ W. long.; and 33° 27.170’ N. lat. 118° 30.100’ W. long.


Bird Rock SMCA is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 33° 27.50’ N. lat. 118° 27.00’ W. long.; 33° 29.97’ N. lat. 118° 27.00’ W. long.; thence northwestward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to 33° 30.81’ N. lat. 118° 29.30’ W. long.; and 33° 27.50’ N. lat. 118° 29.30’ W. long.

Blue Cavern SMR This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 33° 25.96’ N. lat. 118° 27.00’ W. long.; 33° 27.50’ N. lat. 118° 27.00’ W. long.; 33° 27.50’ N. lat. 118° 29.30’ W. long.; and 33° 26.64’ N. lat. 118° 29.30’ W. long.

Casino Point SMR is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 33° 20.90’ N. lat. 118° 19.43’ W. long.; 33° 20.90’ N. lat. 118° 19.42’ W. long.; 33° 20.92’ N. lat. 118° 19.38’ W. long.; 33° 20.95’ N. lat. 118° 19.42’ W. long.; 33° 20.97’ N. lat. 118° 19.47’ W. long.; 33° 21.00’ N. lat. 118° 19.52’ W. long.; and 33° 20.96’ N. lat. 118° 19.56’ W. long.

Cat Harbor State SMCA This area includes the waters below the mean high tide line on the west side of Catalina Island northward of a straight line connecting Pin Rock (33° 25.50’ N. lat. 118° 30.28’ W. long.) and Cat Head Point (33° 25.32’ N. lat. 118° 30.76’ W. long.).

Farnsworth Bank Offshore SMCA This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted: 33° 21.00’ N. lat. 118° 30.00’ W. long.; 33° 21.00’ N. lat. 118° 32.88’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to 33° 19.00’ N. lat. 118° 31.98’ W. long.; and 33° 19.00’ N. lat. 118° 29.00’ W. long.

Farnsworth Bank Onshore SMCA This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 33° 21.00' N. lat. 118° 29.08' W. long.; 33° 21.00' N. lat. 118° 30.00' W. long.; 33° 19.00' N. lat. 118° 29.00' W. long.; 33° 19.00' N. lat. 118° 27.90' W. long.; and 33° 19.56' N. lat. 118° 27.90' W. long.

Long Point SMR This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted: 33° 24.38’ N. lat. 118° 21.98’ W. long.; 33° 25.50’ N. lat. 118° 21.98’ W. long.; 33° 25.50’ N. lat. 118° 24.00’ W. long.; and 33° 25.11’ N. lat. 118° 24.00’ W. long.

Lover’s Cove SMCA This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: 33° 20.46’ N. lat. 118° 18.90’ W. long.; 33° 20.70’ N. lat. 118° 18.90’ W. long.; and 33° 20.70’ N. lat. 118° 19.31’ W. long.

Habitat and wildlife[edit]

Arrow Point to Lion Head Point SMCA retains existing protections for biohabitats and other highly immobile species.

Bird Rock SMCA and adjoining Blue Cavern SMR provide a backbone MPA on the leeside of Catalina Island. They provide protection for deep water species like rockfish. The northern region of Santa Catalina Island, where these MPAs are located, hosts highly diverse features including alongshore headland, coves, sea caves, walls, reefs and stable sand habitats; and unique offshore rocks and reefs. Key habitats for giant kelp, elk kelp, and surfgrass are located here.

Casino Point SMR protects habitat and fish for non consumptive diver enjoyment. It encompasses the existing City of Avalon Dive Park.

Cat Harbor SMCA provides a protected area at Catalina harbor to improve recreational fishing opportunities, protect eel grass habitat and strive to improve water quality.

Farnsworth Bank Offshore SMCA and Farnsworth Bank Onshore SMCA form an MPA cluster for southwest region of Santa Catalina Island hosting a high diversity of habitats and communities representing productive, wave-exposed portion of east islands bioregion. Differing exposures to swells, headlands, spectacularly unique offshore Farnsworth Bank and other deepwater pinnacles, diverse rocky intertidal, shallow/deepwater reefs and sand plains add to biodiversity within the MPA cluster. Cluster contains persistent key habitat giant kelp forests, surfgrass, and purple hydrocoral. Protection will likely benefit species including rockfishes, kelp bass, scorpionfish, giant sea bass, sheephead, angel shark, abalone, lobster, cucumbers, and rock scallops. The MPAs also protect highly significant endangered intertidal black abalone and subtidal white abalone habitat.

Long Point SMR represents the warmest, most wave-sheltered portion of the East Channel Islands Bioregion, encompassing highly diverse features including headlands, calm coves with unique stable sand species assemblages, deep water elk kelp, and the best known (most highly visited) giant black sea bass spawning aggregation site in California.

Lover’s Cove SMCA provides a recreational opportunity for those who fish from the pier where cross channel boats dock, and provides protection for species viewed from glass bottom boat tours from Avalon.

Recreation and nearby attractions[edit]

Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, is an island off the coast of Southern California. The island is 22 miles from Los Angeles and is part of the Channel Islands archipelago. The island is reached by ferry or by air. Avalon, the main town, is one square mile in size. Walking is the preferred mode of transportation since the number of vehicles allowed in the city is restricted. Visitors can easily navigate on foot, rented bicycle or rented golf cart. Shuttles, taxis and tours provide access to areas beyond Avalon.

Catalina offers an endless array of recreation and activities. Water sports include scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking and fishing. On land, one can enjoy hiking, biking, playing golf and exploring shops and galleries.

The Catalina Casino is Catalina Island’s most recognizable landmark. The round, Art Deco structure rises the equivalent of 12 stories, and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Built in 1929, the Casino, not a gambling hall but an entertainment venue, played host to dozens of Big Bands through the 1930s and 1940s. The Casino Ballroom is available for private functions, and is a very popular spot for weddings and special events. Visitors can also see the inside of the Casino Building on one of several daily walking tours. The Catalina Island Museum is located in the Casino Building.

Arrow Point to Lion Head Point SMCA prohibits the recreational take of invertebrates; the take of all other living marine resources is allowed all.

Bird Rock SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except that pelagic finfish, including white seabass and bonito, may be taken recreationally by hook and line and spearfishing; pelagic finfish may be taken by commercial hook and line; market squid may be taken by recreational dip net; swordfish may be taken by commercial harpoon.

Blue Cavern SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

Casino Point SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

Cat Harbor SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except that the recreational take of finfish by hook and line or by spearfishing, squid by hook and line, and lobster and sea urchin. Also permitted is the commercial take of sea cucumbers by diving only, and spiny lobster and sea urchin.

Farnsworth Bank Offshore SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except that pelagic finfish, including bonito and white seabass, may be taken by recreational hook and line and spearfishing; coastal pelagic finfish and market squid may be taken by commercial round haul nets and recreational dip nets; swordfish may be taken by commercial harpoon; marlin, tuna and dorado may be taken by recreational trolling of hook and line.

Farnsworth Bank Onshore SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except that pelagic finfish, including bonito and white seabass, may be taken by recreational spearfishing.; coastal pelagic finfish and market squid may be taken by commercial round haul nets and recreational dip net; swordfish, marlin, dorado and tuna may be taken by commercial harpoon and recreational trolling with hook and line.

Long Point SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

Lover’s Cove SMCA prohibits the take of all living marine resources except recreational fishing from the public pier by hook and line, and feeding of fish for marine life viewing is allowed.

However, California’s marine protected areas encourage recreational and educational uses of the ocean. Activities such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, and swimming are allowed.

Scientific monitoring[edit]

As specified by the Marine Life Protection Act, [1] select marine protected areas along California’s central coast are being monitored by scientists to track their effectiveness and learn more about ocean health. Similar studies in marine protected areas located off the Santa Barbara Channel Islands have already detected gradual improvements in fish size and number. [2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]




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