They went to the northern region first, however it will soon be coming south, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contacts: Sandy Cooney, (916) 715-9674 December 21, 2006 Bill Romanelli, (916) 212-1446 RESOURCES SECRETARY ANNOUNCES NEXT MLPA STUDY REGIONSACRAMENTO â Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman today announced the next study region for Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) implementation will be from Alder Creek (five miles north of Point Arena) to Pigeon Point. Announcement of the âNorth Central Coast Study Regionâ kicks off the next phase of the MLPA Initiative process, created to reexamine and redesign marine protected areas (MPAs) in state waters. âThis is an important next step in improving the design and management of marine protected areas along Californiaâs entire coast,â said Secretary Chrisman. âWeâre excited to continue to move the process forward using a task force model, an ongoing dynamic public process and the lessons weâve learned along the way.â The MLPA North Central Coast Study region is the second of several regions that will cover the California coast and San Francisco Bay. In March 2006, following extensive public input, a blue ribbon task force delivered recommendations on the first region (from Pigeon Point to Point Conception, called the MLPA Central Coast Study Region) to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the California Fish and Game Commission. In August 2006, the Fish and Game Commission selected three groups of MPAs for the central coast to be evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act. In March 2007, the Fish and Game Commission will adopt regulations to implement MPAs for Californiaâs central coast. Using that model to guide the process, a new blue ribbon task force will be appointed by Secretary Chrisman in early 2007. The task force and DFG will appoint a regional stakeholder group to ensure local interests play a role in developing MPA proposals for the region. DFG will also name a science advisory team to make use of the best readily available science. All meetings of the blue ribbon task force, regional stakeholder group and science advisory team will be open to the public. âPublic participation in this process is critical,â said Fish and Game Director Ryan Broddrick. âWe need people to come to the table with their expertise, their suggestions and their concerns to ensure we strike a balance between community needs and the needs of our marine areas.â About the MLPA: The MLPA directs the state to reexamine and redesign Californiaâs system of MPAs through a comprehensive program and master plan. Its primary goals are to protect marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems and marine natural heritage, as well as improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems. Marine protected areas include state marine conservation areas, state marine parks, and state marine reserves. For more information on the MLPA visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa.