Friday, 14 November 2008

California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative releases 'lessons learned' report

California created a groundbreaking public-private partnership in 2004 to implement the Marine Life Protection Act (“MLPA”). The MLPA Initiative has just released a lessons-learned report regarding its second phase, including the process of designing MPA networks on the north-central coast of California .

The report can be accessed at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/agenda_110408a.pdf

Following successfully completed planning for Marine Protected Areas (“MPAs”) in its Central Coast (“CC”) pilot region in 2006, the Initiative moved to its next study region, the North Central Coast (“NCC”), in early 2007. The Initiative relied on the basic model for MPA planning designed for the CC, but modified its approach based in part on the results of an extensive “lessons learned” project. The Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Task Force (“BRTF”) delivered its consensus recommendation for a NCC Integrated Preferred Alternative (“IPA”) to the Commission in early June 2008, along with three alternatives developed by the NCC Regional Stakeholder Group (“RSG”). The Commission, as the ultimate decision maker under the MLPA, is in the middle of its regulatory and decision making process as the lessons learned report is being completed.

This report presents “lessons learned” from the Initiative’s NCC study region. It includes
quantitative measures of satisfaction with the MPA planning process as well as judgments, based
on interviews and observation, about the performance of key Initiative components: the BRTF, the Regional Stakeholder Group (“RSG”), the Science Advisory Team (“SAT”), the Department of Fish and Game (“Department”), the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (“RLFF”), and the
Initiative staff, known as the “I Team.” The report pays particular attention to efforts by the
Initiative to incorporate lessons learned from the CC pilot region into the NCC study region.