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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dynamic MPAs ver.0.0: Adapting Southern California Against Potential Climate-Forced Hypoxia


This paper introduces the concept of “dynamic marine protected areas (MPA)” to existing California law. Dynamic MPAs are MPAs with a range of dormant management responses that turn on only when conditions warrant them. This new tool has the potential to allow resource managers to respond to impending but highly uncertain future environmental harms, such as the effects of climate change, in a timely fashion without abridging existing public participation processes. The creation of a dynamic MPA would require careful integration of science, law, and policy. All dynamic MPAs as envisioned in this paper would have 3 components: 1.) management goals, 2.) substantive responses, and 3.) triggering indicators. This paper would apply the challenge of managing developing climate-driven mid-water hypoxia to the protection of an overexploited fish species in Southern California and creates a hypothetical dynamic MPA based on an existing MPA.

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