World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Asilomar State Marine Reserve

Rocks at Asilomar State Beach

Asilomar State Marine Reserve (SMR) is one of four small marine protected areas (MPAs) located near the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, at the southern end of Monterey Bay on California’s central coast. The four MPAs together encompass 2.96 square miles (7.7 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited.[1]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography and natural features 2
  • Habitat and wildlife 3
  • Recreation and nearby attractions 4
  • Scientific monitoring 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

The Asilomar State Marine Reserve was established in September 2007 by the California Department of Fish and Game. It was one of 29 marine protected areas adopted during the first phase of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, which created a statewide network of marine protected areas along the California coastline. The reserve helps protect some of the central coast’s most heavily used and accessible areas near the shore while leaving most of the coastal waters open for continued fishing.[1]

Geography and natural features

Asilomar SMR is located off the coast of the Monterey Peninsula, at the southern end of Monterey Bay. It covers an area of 1.51 square miles (3.9 km2). The reserve is directly offshore from Asilomar State Beach.

Asilomar SMR is the westernmost of four marine protected areas bordering the Monterey Peninsula. It is adjacent to the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area. Further east are the Lovers Point State Marine Reserve and the Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area. All four areas are included within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

This marine protected area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed: , and .[1]

Click here for a virtual tour

Habitat and wildlife

The Monterey Peninsula includes extensive tidepools brimming with life. Its sandy beaches are used by pupping harbor seals, and dense kelp beds offshore provide shelter for sea otters. The Asilomar SMR provides habitat for a variety of marine life, and includes kelp forest, beach, rocky intertidal, and soft and hard bottom.[2]

Recreation and nearby attractions

The natural beauty and ocean resources of the Monterey Peninsula draw millions of visitors from around the world each year, including more than 60,000 scuba divers drawn by the area’s easy access, variety of wildlife, and massive kelp forests[3]

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a major tourist attraction featuring a 28-foot (8.5 m) living kelp forest. The exhibit includes many of the species native to the nearby marine protected areas. The aquarium also houses sea otters, intertidal wildlife, and occasionally sea turtles.

In addition to diving and visiting the aquarium, people enjoy the Monterey Bay by kayaking, whale watching, charter fishing, surfing, bird watching, tidepooling and walking on the beach. Asilomar State Beach, adjacent to the reserve, offers a .75 mile walking trail.

California’s marine protected areas encourage recreational and educational uses of the ocean.[4] Activities such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, and swimming are allowed unless otherwise restricted.

Scientific monitoring

As specified by the Marine Life Protection Act, select marine protected areas along California’s central coast are being monitored by scientists to track their effectiveness and learn more about ocean health. Similar studies in marine protected areas located off of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands have already detected gradual improvements in fish size and number.[5]

Local scientific and educational institutions involved in the monitoring include the Hopkins Marine Station (located at the Lovers Point SMR), the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Research methods include hook-and-line sampling, scuba diver surveys, and the use of Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) submarines.

References

  1. ^ a b c Guide to the Central California Marine Protected Areas: Pigeon Point to Point Conception.  
  2. ^ "Appendix O. Regional MPA Management Plans". Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas.  
  3. ^ Department of Fish and Game. "Central Coast Regional Profile", page 89. Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.
  4. ^ Department of Fish and Game. "California Fish and Game Code section 2853 (b)(3)". Marine Life Protection Act. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  5. ^ Jenn Castell, et al. (February 5, 2008). "How do patterns of abundance and size structure differ between fished and unfished waters in the Channel Islands? Results from SCUBA surveys". Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Santa Cruz; Channel Islands National Park. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 

External links

  • California's MPAs
  • Asilomar State Beach
  • Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.