Assessment of Rocky Intertidal habitats for the California Marine Protected Area Monitoring Program

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
UC Santa Cruz
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
Carol Blanchette
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution

The California Legislature passed the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) in 1999, requiring the state to redesign its system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to function as a statewide network in order to protect the abundance, integrity, and diversity of marine life, habitats, and ecosystems. The MLPA requires monitoring of the state’s MPAs to evaluate progress toward achieving the goals of the MLPA, and to facilitate adaptive management of the network of MPAs. The recently adopted MPA Monitoring Action Plan (Action Plan) also identifies the need for monitoring of specific habitats and human uses.  CDFW and OPC are now designing and implementing statewide long-term monitoring to reflect current priorities and management needs.  They have requested proposals to support California’s Action Plan, specifically with respect to MPA monitoring.  The state is seeking information about the effects of MPAs to date, and suggestions for long-term monitoring of eight key habitats.

We will be part of a team of experts in MPA design, monitoring, and evaluation to help the state identify and evaluate changes that have occurred in the rocky intertidal portions of California MPAs and to help design plans for the continued monitoring of California MPAs.

Staff researcher Avrey Parsons-Field will provide both field and lab support.  Field work involves maintaining field experiments and conducting surveys at central and southern California rocky intertidal sites. All collected data will be entered into standardized forms and checked prior to submission to project leaders at UC Santa Cruz.  Parsons-Field will also maintain the permits for access to Hollister Ranch and Vandenberg Air Force Base.