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Under the Sea: California's New Underwater State Parks

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Photo by Non Paratus via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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California has had underwater state parks for a while, but on January 1 of this year the state opened several new parks along the coastline. These include the La Jolla kelp forest, tide pools in Laguna and coral gardens off of Catalina. Their goal? To do a better job protecting marine life.

The state was worried that its existing parks weren't doing the trick and were creating "the illusion of protection while falling far short of its potential to protect and conserve living marine life and habitat." After bitter negotiations with fishing groups, it came up with an expanded network of underwater parks approved back in 2010.

They opened on January 1, which means fishing is limited or banned altogether in these areas. Here are some of the maps that show where the parks are in Southern California (you can find enlarged versions here).

Santa Monica Bay:

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PDF via CalOceans
Catalina Island:

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PDF via CalOceans
Orange County:

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PDF via CalOceans