The Santa Barbara Channel, including waters in the Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, is protected by a network of 19 MPAs, five along the coast and 14 surrounding the Channel Islands. Each MPA was designated to set aside a particularly special area of marine environment to create a robust network of protection covering over 350 square miles.
These protected areas have proven to be invaluable in safeguarding precious marine ecosystems and promoting biodiversity. Through rigorous monitoring, research, and effective management strategies, we have witnessed a significant resurgence in marine life within these MPAs.
Through Santa Barbara Channelkeepers and other grassroot organizations, there is a citizen science opportunity to help monitor these areas and help raise public awareness and promote stewardship of the MPAs. The Santa Barbara Channel MPA Collaborative is a combined effort of government agencies, nonprofits, and fishing representatives, to conduct localized implementation of marine conservation efforts in MPAs through regional communication and cooperation.