Southern California Marine Protected Areas

Guides are free and available from DFG offices in Santa Barbara, Los Alamitos and San Diego, as well as selected ocean-related businesses and harbormasters’ offices along the coast.

“This booklet makes it possible for us to reach a broader audience by putting printed local marine protected area information directly in the hands of the public,” said Paul Hamdorf, Acting DFG Marine Region Manager.

The full-color Guide includes maps, coordinates, shoreline boundary images and regulations for Southern California MPAs along the coast from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border, and around islands. Also included are descriptions of the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act which guided the MPAs’ development, answers to frequently asked questions and links to DFG web pages with additional information.

Southern California MPAs went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, after the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations in 2011. This network of 50 MPAs (including 13 pre-existing MPAs retained at the northern Channel Islands) and two special closures covers approximately 355 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.

For a list of locations and a map that shows where booklets can be found, please go to The guide itself is also available for online viewing and printing at


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