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Improving Water Quality and Ecosystem Health in California's Marine Managed Areas

September 2018

Citation: ELR 10818

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Stephanie Talavera, and Alejandro E. Camacho

California’s marine conservation regime is a model for the world, and includes a statewide network of marine protected areas and other marine managed areas (MMAs). But management authority remains distributed across multiple government entities, potentially compromising ecosystem-based approaches and adaptive management. The University of California, Irvine School of Law's Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources conducted extensive interviews and roundtable discussions to explore the current framework for managing coastal water quality and monitoring in the context of MMAs. This Article synthesizes the results of those discussions, and identifies challenges to and opportunities for enhancing MMAs through California’s existing water quality and coastal protection programs, coordinating water quality monitoring and data access, and offsetting resource constraints on programs that protect marine water quality.

Elizabeth Taylor is a Staff Attorney for the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR) at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Stephanie Talavera is an Associate Attorney at Newmeyer & Dillion, LLP, and a former Fellow at CLEANR. Alejandro E. Camacho is a Professor of Law and the Faculty Director of CLEANR.

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