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El Segundo Events Explore Sea Protection

September 14, 2008

Scientists and government officials studying potential no-take zones and other marine protected areas off the California coast will gather Monday and Tuesday for all-day meetings in El Segundo.

Meetings start at 9:30 a.m. on both days at the Embassy Suites, 1440 East Imperial Ave., and will be broadcast online at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/meetings_sc.asp/. Agendas are posted at the same Web site.

A handful of agencies are working to implement the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act, which directs the state to redesign its map of conservation areas to protect sea life and restore damaged ecosystems. Efforts to do so stalled a few years ago.

Because of the size of California’s coastline, the process has been broken into pieces. The latest initiative targets the South Coast, from Point Conception to the Mexican border.

The MLPA provides for varied degrees of protection, including areas where fish, wildlife and habitat are protected from all fishing; parts where some recreational fishing is allowed; and zones where limited recreation and commercial fishing is permitted.

The meeting Monday convenes a science advisory team, while Tuesday’s event is a public workshop.

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