California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Definitions and Acronymns

Definitions | Commonly Used Acronyms and Abbreviated Terms

Definitions

Adaptive Management
Marine Managed Area
Marine Protected Area
Marine Life Reserve

Simplified Classification System
State Marine Reserve
State Marine Park
State Marine Conservation Area
State Marine Recreational Management Area
Special Closure

The following terms are defined in Fish and Game Code (FGC) Section 2852:

Adaptive Management [2852(a) FGC]

"Adaptive management," with regard to marine protected areas, means a management policy that seeks to improve management of biological resources, particularly in areas of scientific uncertainty, by viewing program actions as tools for learning. Actions shall be designed so that, even if they fail, they will provide useful information for future actions, and monitoring and evaluation shall be emphasized so that the interaction of different elements within marine systems may be better understood.

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Marine Managed Area [36602(d) PRC]

"Marine Managed Area" (MMA) is a named, discrete geographic marine or estuarine area along the California coast designated by law or administrative action, and intended to protect, conserve, or otherwise manage a variety of resources and their uses. The resources and uses may include, but are not limited to, living marine resources and their habitats, scenic views, water quality, recreational values, and cultural or geological resources. General areas that are administratively established for recreational or commercial fishing restrictions, such as seasonal or geographic closures or size limits, are not included in this definition.

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Marine Protected Area [2852(c) FGC]

"Marine protected area" (MPA) means a named, discrete geographic marine or estuarine area seaward of the high tide line or the mouth of a coastal river, including any area of intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora and fauna that has been designated by law, administrative action, or voter initiative to protect or conserve marine life and habitat. MPA classifications include marine life reserves (the equivalent of the state marine reserve classification), state marine parks, which allow recreational fishing and prohibit commercial extraction, and state marine conservation areas, which allow for specified commercial and recreational activities, including fishing for certain species but not others, fishing with certain practices but not others, and kelp harvesting, provided that these activities are consistent with the objectives of the area and the goals and guidelines of this chapter.

MPAs are primarily intended to protect or conserve marine life and habitat, and are therefore a subset of marine managed areas (MMAs), which are broader groups of named, discrete geographic areas along the coast that protect, conserve, or otherwise manage a variety of resources and uses, including living marine resources, cultural and historical resources, and recreational opportunities. Marine managed area classifications include state water quality protection area, state marine cultural preservation area, and state marine recreational management area.

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Marine Life Reserve [2852(d) FGC]

"Marine life reserve," for the purposes of this chapter, means a marine protected area in which all extractive activities, including the taking of marine species, and, at the discretion of the commission and within the authority of the commission, other activities that upset the natural ecological functions of the area, are prohibited. While, to the extent feasible, the area shall be open to the public for managed enjoyment and study, the area shall be maintained to the extent practicable in an undisturbed and unpolluted state.

Fish and Game Code Section 2860 (b) further clarifies permissible activities in "marine life reserves":

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the taking of a marine species in a marine life reserve is prohibited for any purpose, including recreational and commercial fishing, except that the commission may authorize the taking of a marine species for scientific purposes, consistent with the purposes of this chapter, under a scientific collecting permit issued by the department."

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Simplified Classification System

In January 2000 the Resources Agency released a report titled "Improving California's System of Marine Managed Areas". The culmination of an 18-month process involving 11 state agencies and substantial public input, the report contains recommendations for a simplified classification system for state marine managed areas (MMAs). Marine protected areas are a subset of MMAs; MPAs include state marine reserves, state marine parks, and state marine conservation areas. Some MMAs (state marine cultural preservation areas and state marine water quality areas) were not addressed as part of the MLPA process.

The following six classifications for designating managed areas in the marine and estuarine environments were established in Public Resources Code, Section 36700. These became effective January 1, 2002 and replace the 18 classifications which were previously used to categorize state MMAs. Where the term "marine" is used, it refers to both marine and estuarine environments.

  • In a state marine reserve, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a permit or specific authorization from the managing agency for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes. While, to the extent feasible, the area shall be open to the public for managed enjoyment and study, the area shall be maintained to the extent practicable in an undisturbed and unpolluted state. Access and use for activities including, but not limited to, walking, swimming, boating, and diving may be restricted to protect marine resources. Research, restoration, and monitoring may be permitted by the managing agency. Educational activities and other forms of nonconsumptive human use may be permitted by the designating entity or managing agency in a manner consistent with the protection of all marine resources. (PRC Section 36710(a))
  • In a state marine park, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living or nonliving marine resource for commercial exploitation purposes. Any human use that would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community or habitat, or geological, cultural, or recreational features, may be restricted by the designating entity or managing agency. All other uses are allowed, including scientific collection with a permit, research, monitoring, and public recreation, including recreational harvest, unless otherwise restricted. Public use, enjoyment, and education are encouraged, in a manner consistent with protecting resource values. (PRC Section 36710(b))
  • In a state marine conservation area, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes, that the designating entity or managing agency determines would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features. The designating entity or managing agency may permit research, education, and recreational activities, and certain commercial and recreational harvest of marine resources. (PRC Section 36710(c))
  • In a state marine recreational management area, it is unlawful to perform any activity that, as determined by the designating entity or managing agency, would compromise the recreational values for which the area may be designated. Recreational opportunities may be protected, enhanced, or restricted, while preserving basic resource values of the area. No other use is restricted. (PRC Section 36710(e)). The Fish and Game Commission may designate, delete, or modify state marine recreational management areas for hunting purposes. (PRC Section 36725(a))
  • A special closure is an area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites.

Commonly Used Acronyms and Abbreviated Terms

Revised January 21, 2010

Most Commonly Used

APA: Administrative Procedure Act
ASBS: area of special biological significance
BRTF: MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
CDFW: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
CEQA: California Environmental Quality Act
DFG: California Department of Fish and Game
DPR: (or State Parks) California Department of Parks and Recreation
F&GC: California Fish and Game Commission
GIS: geographic information system
I-Team: MLPA Initiative Team (consists of initiative staff, CDFW and DPR staff, and contractors)
LOP: level of protection
MLPA: Marine Life Protection Act
MLPAI: Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (established through MOU among California Natural Resources Agency, CDFW and RLFF)
MLMA: Marine Life Management Act
MMA: marine managed area
MMAIA: Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act
MOU: memorandum of understanding
MPA: marine protected area
NCRSG: MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
NCSR: MLPA North Coast Study Region
RLFF: Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
RSG: MLPA regional stakeholder group
SAT: MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team
SIG: MLPA Statewide Interests Group
SMCA: state marine conservation area
SMP: state marine park
SMR: state marine reserve
SMRMA: state marine recreational management area
SCRSG: MLPA South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
SCSR: MLPA South Coast Study Region

Other Commonly Used

ARMP: (California) Abalone Recovery and Management Plan
Bay-Delta: San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary
BCDC: San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
BLM: U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Cal/EPA: California Environmental Protection Agency
CBNMS: Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
CCMP: California Coastal Management Program
CCNM: California Coastal National Monument
CCR: California Code of Regulations
CCRSG: MLPA Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
CCSR: MLPA Central Coast Study Region
CERES: California Environmental Resources Evaluation System
CINMS: Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
CNPCP: California Nonpoint Pollution Control Program
CORMA: California Ocean Resources Management Act
CORMP: California Ocean Resources Management Program
CPUE: catch per unit of effort
CRANE: Cooperative Research and Assessment of Nearshore Ecosystems Program
CSU: California State University
DWR: (California) Department of Water Resources
EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone
EIR: environmental impact report
EIS: environmental impact statement
ELPF: Environmental License Plate Fund (California)
ESA: Endangered Species Act (CESA = California, FESA = federal)
FGC: (California) Fish and Game Code
FMP: fishery management plan
GFNMS: Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
MARINe: Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network Marine Region Marine Region of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
MBARI: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
MBNMS: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
NCEAS: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
NCCRSG: MLPA North Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
NCCSR: MLPA North Central Coast Study Region
NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act
NMFS: National Marine Fisheries Service (also known as NOAA Fisheries)
NMSP: National Marine Sanctuary Program
NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
OPC: (California) Ocean Protection Council
OSPR: Office of Spill Prevention and Response
PISCO: Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans
PFMC: Pacific Fisheries Management Council
PRC: (California) Public Resources Code
PSFMC: Pacific States Fishery Management Commission
ROV: remotely operated vehicle
RWQCB: regional water quality control board
SCCWRP: Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
SCSR: MLPA South Coast Study Region
SFRSG: MLPA San Francisco Bay Regional Stakeholder Group
SFSR: MLPA San Francisco Bay Study Region
SLC: California State Lands Commission
SWRCB: State Water Resources Control Board
Title 14: Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations
UC: University of California
UC Sea Grant: California Sea Grant College
USC: Sea Grant University of Southern California Sea Grant Program
U.S.C.: United States Code
U.S.C.A.: United States Code Annotated
USCG: United States Coast Guard
USEPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
USGS: United States Geological Survey