Point Lobos: California's Coastal Treasures

Marine Protected Areas Safeguard Our Ocean's Bounty

California is the first state in the nation to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – similar to national parks, forests and wilderness areas on land – to protect and restore ocean habitats and increase the health, productivity, and resilience of ocean ecosystems. Under the Marine Life Protection Act, passed in 1999, California took a regional approach to the design and implementation of MPAs along its coast and divided the state into four coastal regions. The network was completed in 2012 and created over 124 underwater refuges along the California coast.

Point Lobos MPAs here expand protection of this crown jewel of California State Parks. Beneath the waves lies one of California's richest marine habitats. From the intertidal zone, to the kelp forests, to the deep waters of the Carmel submarine canyon, the Point Lobos MPAs protect millions of marine plants and animals.

California leads the nation and the world with its network of MPAs. These MPAs:
  • Have varying levels of protection
  • Conserve marine habitats and diversity
  • Allow marine life to thrive
  • Make great places for education, research, and fun

While you're here, take a few extra moments to check out the inspiring official Point Lobos State Natural Reserve audio tour, created by California State Parks Monterey District Interpreters, Rangers, and docents.