Protected Areas Center News

South Africa's First Offshore Protected Area Declared

April 17, 2013
South Africa's first offshore marine protected area (MPA), is declared over the Prince Edward Islands, by the Department of Environmental Affairs.  This designation is part of an effort to protect the country's offshore and deep ocean areas.

Monterey Synposium to present data on marine protected areas

February 26, 2013
Central Coast, scientists, policymakers and the public are gathering in Monterey, California this week to present results from monitoring efforts in the marine protected areas in the region. Central Coast region has a total of 29 MPAs, including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve and the waters off Point Sur.

Full text from the article published by the Montorey Herald, by Jeannie Evers - February 20, 2013

Five years after California established the first in a statewide network of marine protected areas on the Central Coast, scientists, policymakers and the public are coming together to take stock.

About 350 people will gather in Monterey next week for a three-day symposium, State of the California Central Coast, that will present results from monitoring efforts in the region.
The data, some of which will be released in a report Wednesday on the first day of the symposium, will provide a benchmark for future studies of marine protected areas.

"It's too soon to draw broad conclusions about the network as a whole, but we can use (the results) to measure future changes on the ocean and on the economy," said Holly Rindge, communications manager with California Ocean Science Trust, one of the hosts of the symposium.

Marine protected areas, or MPAs, were created under the Marine Life Protection Act in 2007 to protect and restore the ocean's habitats and wildlife. The statewide network of 124 underwater refuges was completed in December.

There are 29 MPAs on the Central Coast — the first of five regions to be established — stretching from Pigeon Point to Point Conception. Together, they represent about 204 square miles of state waters, according to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation. Among the local MPAs are Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the waters off Point Sur.

Next week's symposium is part of a broad plan to share monitoring results with policymakers and the public, which became keenly interested when the MPAs were first set up on the Central Coast, Rindge said.

"We hope they're going to get a better understanding of ocean conditions in the region," she said.

Similar events for other regions aren't yet planned, but the science trust's MPA Monitoring Enterprise program plans to release reports on those areas when results are in, she said.
Baseline studies in Central Coast waters looked at kelp forests, nearshore fishes, rocky intertidal zones, deep-water marine life and human activities, according to MPA Monitoring Enterprise. Though five years is not enough time to see a full ecological response to implementation of MPAs, Rindge said, there are early changes being seen in some species, such as black abalone and rock fish.

In addition to scientists and policymakers, the symposium is attracting stakeholders such as fishermen, conservationists and recreational ocean users. Presentations will cover research, management, enforcement and other topics.

Speakers will include John Laird, state secretary for natural resources, and former Assemblyman Fred Keeley, who wrote the Marine Life Protection Act.

Cost to attend is $60, which includes a night at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, snacks, refreshments and materials. The symposium will be held Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Monterey Marriott Hotel, 350 Calle Principal. To register, see

Protected Areas helping wildlife adapt to Climate Change

January 28, 2013
New research from the United Kingdom by University of York in partnership along with other NGOs and agencies in the find that a vital importance of Protected Areas is to help wildlife survive change in climate.  Many protected areas have been set up with the intent to protect wildlife, the researchers found that they not only protected resident species, but also providing refuge for species moving from other areas.

Conservationists celebrate new marine protected areas

January 23, 2013
In Southern California local stakeholders celebrate new Marine Protected Areas by installing the first signs at Paradise Cove, that advice commercial and sport fisherman of sensitive "No Take" MPA. 

Land trust protects entrance to protected area

December 19, 2012
In November the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy purchased 89 acres at the southern end of the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area in a move to protect vulnerable conservation lands and pristine views.The tract, in the Highlands of Roan, adjoins and provides a key gateway to hundreds of acres that the organization has protected in past years as well as lands in state-designated scenic areas.The now-protected property is adjacent to and visible from hundreds of acres of public lands. The purchase also saves White Oak Creek, a tributary of the North Toe River, from potential harm. The creek flows through the property. The property is also close to the Roan/Cane Creek Mountain Important Bird Area.“Gaining a gateway to the other lands we have protected at Burleson Bald has been a priority for SAHC.” said Jay Leutze, SAHC representative and local author. “We are thrilled to add this tract to the other lands we have protected.”From the: Smoky Mountain News (December 5, 2012)