Marine Protected Areas

California’s Marine Protected Areas

124 underwater parks, countless ways to have fun.

Marine Protected Areas

California’s 124 marine protected areas (MPAs) are home to thousands of birds, mammals and fish and are prime recreation destinations for people who love the coast. Like parks on land, marine protected areas provide safe havens for ocean life to rebound in the face of challenges like overfishing and pollution. Wildlife such as elephant seals, sea otters and leopard sharks can be spotted in various MPAs. Activities for people are also endless, including diving, surfing, paddleboarding, walking on the beach, wildlife watching, exploring tide pools and bird-watching.

Ocean Conservancy has worked for many years to help California secure the nation's first statewide network of marine protected areas. Science shows that these protected areas improve biodiversity, boost fisheries and support overall ocean health. Supporters like you have helped facilitate the creation of this incredible network of protected areas that is already improving California's coastal marine life. But our work is far from done. We need to build support among our lawmakers to ensure that MPAs continue to be monitored and protected as new laws affecting the coast are developed. Support MPAs and the benefits they provide by signing the MPA Champion pledge.

Protect Our Vital Coasts

With your help we can protect coastal habitats and wildlife, and the people and communities that depend on them.


Why the Ocean Matters

The ocean provides the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Learn more about why the ocean matters to you.  

Vision for a Healthy Ocean

Ocean Conservancy works to keep the ocean healthy, to keep us healthy.

Our Solutions

We champion sound science that will lead to innovative, sustainable solutions.

Ocean Conservancy makes careful use of your support, and holds high ratings from charity watchdogs.
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