National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

In 2002 the California Fish and Game Commission established a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the nearshore waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (sanctuary). NOAA expanded the MPA network into the sanctuary's deeper waters in 2006 and 2007. The entire MPA network consists of 11 marine reserves where all take and harvest is prohibited, and two marine conservation areas that allow limited take of lobster and pelagic fish (see map)

Marine Reserves Network Map

MPA map

Click here for Individual MPA maps and descriptions

Map graphic
Click the map above for a closer look at Channel Islands Marine Protected Areas including individual island maps, critical species and habitat information, photos and videos.

This MPA network encompass 241 square nautical miles (or 318 square miles) making it the largest network off of the continental United States. The Channel Islands MPA network is designed to:

  • Protect and restore habitats and ecosystems.
  • Provide a refuge for all sea life.
  • Provide reference areas for research and educational opportunities.
  • Protect our nation's marine natural heritage for future generations.

Network Effectiveness – the First Five Years (2003 to 2008)

The Sanctuary, California Department of Fish and Game, Channel Islands National Park and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the University of California, Santa Barbara sponsored a public symposium on the first five years of monitoring, enforcement and education programs for the Channel Islands Marine Protected Area Network. For the report visit:

California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative

For information on the State of California’s MLPA Initiative to reevaluate and redesign California’s system of marine protected areas, please visit:

Additional Information

More information about Channel Islands MPAs, including educational materials, can be found on these web sites:



For more information, contact:

Sean Hastings, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary


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