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Dynamic MPAs ver.0.0: Protecting Cowcods From Potential Climate-Forced Hypoxia in Southern California

June 2014

Citation: 44 ELR 10496

Issue: 6

Author: Anthony T. Shiao

Dynamic marine protected areas (MPAs) are areas 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. Dynamic MPAs would have three components: (1) management goals; (2) substantive responses; and (3) triggering indicators. This Article applies 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.

Anthony T. Shiao is currently a Sea Grant Policy Fellow at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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