Signs to be installed in Marine Protected Areas

Parimal M. Rohit

A program to install 64 informational signs at the coastal access points of designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) between Santa Barbara and San Diego was unanimously supported by the California Coastal Commission on Aug. 13.

More than two-thirds of the signs would be “interpretive” and inform the public about the location, MPA objectives, regulations and resources. The remaining signs would be regulatory, education people of regulations, take restrictions and boundary information.

“Signs would be installed in areas of existing development such as at coastal access parking lots, in marinas and at boat ramps, at coastal access trailheads and at areas with visitor support facilities such as restrooms, information kiosks and visitor centers,” commission staff stated in a report to commissioners. “Several signs would also be installed along trails or coastal access paths, located with existing signage or information kiosks at rest points or vistas.”

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) manages 124 MPAs along more than 1,100 miles of coastline between the Oregon and Mexico borders, covering about 16 percent of state waters. DFW will fund the signage program; public outreach of MPA regulations is managed by the Ocean Protection Council.

In all, 44 interpretive and 20 regulatory signs will be installed, including five off the Santa Barbara coast, two near Ventura, 24 along Los Angeles area waters, eight adjacent to the Orange County coastline and 15 for the San Diego region.

Interpretive signs would measure 30-inches-by-18-inches and be made of composite flame and graffiti resistant materials; regulatory signs would measure 12-inches-by-18-inches and also be made of composite materials.

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