Ten years of monitoring data suggest marine protected areas (MPAs) in waters off the coast of California are providing benefits for the environment and for fishing.

“The Channel Islands MPAs appear to be fulfilling their role as refuges for many fish and invertebrate species,” says Jennifer Caselle, a research biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, who led the study.

More than a decade ago, California established MPAs in state waters around the northern Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. Several years later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) extended these MPAs into the federal waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

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