2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended
March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. More »
Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »
Laws & Policies: Marine Life Protection Act
Marine protected areas went into effect on May 1, 2010 in California's north central coast.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are marine or estuarine areas set aside to protect or conserve marine life and habitat.
The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was signed into law in 1999 and mandated the redesign of a statewide system of marine protected areas (MPAs) that function to the extent possible as a network. In August 2004, the California Resources Agency, California Department of Fish and Game [effective January 1, 2013, California's Department of Fish and Game was renamed the Department of Fish and Wildlife], and Resource Legacy Fund Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding that both launched the MLPA Initiative and began its implementation along the central California coast. Among other actions, the MLPA Initiative established the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT), a statewide stakeholder interest group, and a MLPA Initiative staff.
The goals of the MLPA are:
For more information on the MLPA process, please visit the California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Marine Life Protection Act website.
On August 5, 2009, California's Fish & Game Commission approved a sweeping plan to protect ocean habitats in 24 marine protected areas (MPAs) in State waters in the north central coast region, in accordance with the Marine Life Protection Act, a 1999 State legislation. This study region, the second in the State to be implemented, lies between Pigeon Point in San Mateo County and Point Arena in Mendocino County, and encompasses waters within Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The approved plan includes 5 MPAs off the coast of Point Reyes National Seashore. The Fish and Game Commission voted to adopt a plan that was developed during two years of public discussion, scientific study and participation by various parties with an interest in ocean protection. The National Park Service has been involved with this process by helping draft proposed MPAs, by providing key scientific guidance, conducting education and outreach initiates, and by providing funding for MPA monitoring.
The network of MPAs:
In the waters adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore:
There is a global body of scientific evidence about the effectiveness of marine reserves to restore marine ecosystems (http://www.piscoweb.org/outreach/pubs/reserves). Many marine scientists, conservationists, fishermen, divers and surfers hope that these MPAs in California's oceans will help restore our declining fisheries and ensure the continuation of these natural resources for generations to come.
The adopted network of MPAs is the second region in the State of California to be completed, and went into effect May 1, 2010. Continued monitoring, enforcement and education are essential for the success of these MPAs.
Did You Know?
Four species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) rest onshore or breed at Point Reyes: the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). More...