California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Guide to Developing External Proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) Arrays


To fully integrate the local-level knowledge available within MLPA North Coast Study Region, the MLPA Initiative invites the north coast community to develop external proposed marine protected area (MPA) arrays as the first round of MPA planning process. The deadline for submitting external arrays is Monday, February 1, 2010.

Complete external MPA array packages that include broad geographic coverage and outline details of MPAs, including specific boundaries and proposed regulations, will be forwarded by MLPA Initiative for evaluation conducted by the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team, California Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks and MLPA Initiative staff. These external proposed MPA arrays along with their evaluation results will be available to the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group for consideration in the future rounds of MPA planning for the north coast.

The following guidance, resources and reference materials have been collected to assist those interested in developing an external MPA array package. Please contact or call (916) 654-1885 with any questions, comments or concerns.

Guide: Developing an External Proposed MPA Array

Requirements of a Complete External MPA Array

There are three major steps to submit materials for an external MPA array. The first step was completed in November 2009. The remaining steps must take place no later than February 1, 2010. Below are the details regarding the steps to submit an external MPA array:

  1. Submit an "Intent to Submit" form. This step was completed on or by Thursday, November 12, 2009.

  2. Submit an MPA array to the MLPA Initiative.
  3. Send supporting materials about the MPA array to These materials include:

    1. A one-page cover sheet that includes the array name, list of contributors, and primary contact information.
    2. A narrative rationale summary that describes the general approach taken to develop the complete MPA array, including a description of how the array helps meet the goals of the MLPA, as well as general rationale for MPA design. Note that this narrative summary should be no more than two pages in length.
    3. Consideration of Existing MPAs table. Adobe Reader required For each MPA that currently exists within the MLPA North Coast Study Region, proponents of external arrays must specify whether the proposal retains the MPA without change, modifies the boundaries and/or regulations of the MPA, or removes the MPA, as well as a one-sentence statement explaining the proposed action.

Quick Reference Guide

The following reference guide refers to materials provided to regional stakeholder group members in past study regions. Please note: While many of these documents refer to "proposals," the information is still applicable and relevant to the development of "arrays".

Key MLPA Documents

Key Resources