Bay Nature magazineFall 2007


What Are Marine Protected Areas?

October 1, 2007

MPAs are designated areas along and off the coast, within the three-mile limit of state waters, intended to protect critical marine habitats. There are three different levels of protection:

State Marine Reserves are off limits to all extractive activities, including fishing and harvesting (of shellfish, seaweed, etc.).

State Marine Parks allow recreational fishing, but don’t allow commercial extraction.

State Marine Conservation Areas allow some commercial and/or recreational extraction, determined on a case-by-case basis.

About the Author

Marilyn Hope Smulyan is a writer and public affairs consultant who is passionate about natural history and open space. She was one of the founders of Bay Nature magazine.