Marine Protected Areas

A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is an area of the ocean where consumptive human activities such as fishing are limited or restricted in order to protect or conserve marine life or habitats. Our Marine Protected Areas program has worked for years to help ensure that the LA County network of MPAs are as large and as meaningful as possible, engaging the public, stakeholders, decision makers, marine scientists, community groups and ultimately the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In January 2012, two areas along our Los Angeles coastline were designated as MPA’s– Point Dume and Point Vicente-Abalone Cove. Our program conducts regular, on the water outreach and education trips with volunteers called “MPA Watch”, to monitor human uses of the the Santa Monica Bay water in and around the restricted fishing areas. We also do outreach to local fisherman, businesses, schools, residents and the public about the current boundaries, passing out the Department of Fish and Wildlife certified maps and communicating with the fishing and water sports communities about the allowed uses and expected benefits of our MPAs.

Photo above by Tom Boyd


Find out where the MPAs in Los Angeles County are located: Santa Monica Bay MPA Map (Spanish)

For more information on the MPA rules and regulations: LAW Guide to MPA regulations  (Spanish)

Learn more about our MPA Watch volunteer opportunities

Photo above by Tom Boyd


Our MPA Watch program also partners with other non profit organizations, like New Earth, to provide an opportunity for youth to build a sense of community and environmental stewardship while learning citizen skills.  New Earth youth have been crewing LAW MPA boat trips since 2013, and a few youth have just begun SCUBA classes sponsored partially by Waterkeeper.

Harry Grammer, Founder/CEO of New Earth Organization stated, “After each Waterkeeper trip the young men have talked about having a renewed sense of feeling alive, living on purpose, and contributing to a worthy cause. Many of them have never been on a boat in the ocean and these trips have made a huge impact on the way they see the world.”

Contact Us

LA Waterkeeper
120 Broadway, Suite 105
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Phone: 310-394-6162
Fax: 310-394-6178

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