SOUTHERN CALIF MLPA EFFECTIVE JAN. 1, 2012

The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) recently announced that it has selected January 1, 2012 as the effective date for implementation of the marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California. The revised effective date is for the South Coast Study Region, which spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border.

According to DFT, the Commission adopted regulations to create a suite of MPAs on December 15, 2010 in this study region.

Here's what the agency said in the statement: "Developed pursuant the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), this network of 49 MPAs and three special closures covers approximately 354 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.

"The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) requested clarification and further information, thus disapproving the original regulatory package. This ineffectuated the Commission's previously selected implementation date of October 1. All of the information requested by OAL is expected to be provided in time for the Commission to put the potential re-adoption of the regulatory package on its October agenda.

ocean access fund"If re-adopted, the new effective date of January 1, 2012, selected today, allows time for OAL to review and approve the re-submitted regulations, finalizing the lawmaking process. It also allows the Commission and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to better inform affected ocean users of the new regulations."

You can read more about the DFG's planning for the MPAs or MLPA at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/southcoast.asp.

Several groups are battling against the MPA and MLPA on behalf of anglers as we will be the ones most affected from this action. To join in the fight against the MPA, visit the United Anglers of Southern California website at www.unitedanglers.com and read about the Ocean Access Protection Fund. This is a grass-roots effort to raise funds to fight the MPA and the big enviros behind it. Everyone's help is needed to keep this closure from happening.