January 1st will ring in with new State and Federal Marine Protected Areas along our Southern California Coast. Both ends of Santa Monica Bay are included on this year’s after Christmas hit list. Point Dume north to Encinal Canyon Road will be designated a State Marine Conservation area with special take regulations. This area includes my earlier postings at Zuma Beach and Broad Beach Road. Just south of Point Dume, Little Dume Cove is also named as a Marine Reserve, and is also a special closure area.
To the south off Palos Verdes Point the area around Point Vicente will become a no take State Marine Conservation area, and Abalone Cove a State Marine Conservation area with special regulations.
There are also a few other new regulated closures at the Channel Islands and south of Santa Monica Bay that are included on the new regulations list. You need to check these out, too.
For more information and maps of the Conservation and Reserve areas, go online to the Department of Fish and Game website and look up the specifics at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/scmpas_list.asp
Stay legal and have fun continuing to dive the rest of all the great places we’ve enjoyed in the past. Merry Christmas and Happy 2012.