Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fish and Game announces MLPA science panel

The Times-Standard

California Department of Fish and Game Director Donald Koch has announced a panel of science advisors to help develop marine protected areas along the North Coast.

The Marine Life Protection Act Master Plan Science Advisory Team will provide scientific support for the MLPA Initiative, Koch said in a statement.

”The scientists I have appointed to the advisory team are each uniquely qualified for this important task,” Koch said. “Their experience and expertise in marine resources conservation make them well-suited to provide accurate, insightful advice and will help ensure that all decisions made in the coming months will be firmly rooted in the best available science.”

The MLPA aims to protect different habitats along the California coast, such as rocky areas and kelp forests, as well as the species that live in them. The areas, which limit or eliminate fishing and other activities, are expected to work as a network.

The appointed members of the SAT include:

*Larry Allen, California State University Northridge, Department of Biology (Terminal Island);

*Eric Bjorkstedt, National Marine Fisheries Service (Trinidad);

*Mark Carr, University of California, Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab (Santa Cruz);

*Chris Costello, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (Santa Barbara);

*Kevin Fleming, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources Division (Sacramento);

*Steve Gaines, Marine Science Institute (Santa Barbara);

*Dominic Gregorio, State Water Resources Control Board (Sacramento);

*Dawn Goley, Humboldt State University, Marine Mammal Education and Research Program (Arcata);

*David Hankin, Humboldt State University, Fisheries Biology Department (Arcata);

*John Largier, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay);

*Ron LeValley, Mad River Biologists (Eureka);

*Phillip Levin, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Fisheries (Seattle, Wash.);

*Steven Morgan, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay);

*Steven Murray, California State University Fullerton, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Fullerton);

*Karina Nielsen, Sonoma State University, Department Of Biology (Rohnert Park);

*Peter Raimondi, University of California, Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab (Santa Cruz);

*Steven Rumrill, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (Charleston, Ore.);

*Astrid Scholz, Ecotrust, Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center (Portland, Ore.);

*Craig Strong, Crescent Coastal Research (Crescent City);

*Stephen Wertz, California Department of Fish and Game (Los Alamitos); and

*Will White, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay).

The science team's first meeting -- a joint meeting of the North Coast and South Coast teams -- will be on Oct. 30 in Eureka. More information and an agenda may be found at

Science team members provide scientific advice to a regional stakeholder group on issues like where, and how large marine protect areas should be. The team members will also work closely with the stakeholder group to guide development of draft proposals.

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