The State of the California South Coast State of the Region Report

The South Coast State of the Region report is a summary (2011-2015) that sheds light on the ecological and socioeconomic state of the South Coast region during the implementation phase of the South Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This report takes into account the expansion of the statewide MPA establishment to San Diego county in 2012.

The South Coast State of the Region report discusses the baseline ecological monitoring that occurred in the first few years after MPA establishment and the importance of these finding. Varying projects and stakeholder groups came together to produce a comprehensive report that provides insight into the overall health of the region’s coastal and marine ecosystems and human use in these areas. It is important to establish accurate baselines for ecological and human use monitoring to create a basis of understanding for improved management of resources through informed decision making.

Some KEY HIGHLIGHTS from Baseline Monitoring:

  • California spiny lobster, which support important commercial and recreational fisheries in the South Coast, tend to be larger and less abundant in the northern part of the region and smaller and more abundant in the southern part of the region.
  • Biodiversity was highest at sites within old MPAs, and lowest at sites outside of MPAs.
  • • Species and sizes of individuals present at particular sites were influenced by the degree of human use of the intertidal.
  • Monitoring seabirds can provide important insights into nearshore pelagic ecosystems, potentially acting as an indicator for systems that are challenging and costly to monitor.
  • California Least Tern, an endangered species, utilizes MPAs encompassing estuarine habitat for breeding.


Please follow the link to check out more key highlights and read the full report: