Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are like national parks, such as Yosemite or Yellowstone, but are located underwater. The Bay Institute’s Coast and Ocean Program is connecting the importance of California’s network of MPAs to the health of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. To date, our work with partners from the Ocean Communicators Alliance, Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Ocean Conservancy, and other stakeholders, has allowed us to create an online educational video about MPAs, along with dedicated exhibit space and outreach messaging at Aquarium of the Bay.
  • International Pledge in Support of Marine Protected Areas. One of the exciting outcomes capping our role as the local lead of the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project was our pledge for public support of MPAs and expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary waters off the coast, including around the Farallones. We collected signatures from individuals from 22 U.S. states and 33 other countries. 
HOP Pledge Cover
  • Golden Gate Marine Protected Area Collaborative. Coast and Ocean Program Director Brian Baird acts as a co-chair to this important community based project. The Golden Gate Marine Protected Area Collaborative is one of 14 such Collaboratives that have been established to support the portion of the California network of MPAs located off San Francisco and Marin Counties.  The Golden Gate MPA Collaborative provides a much-needed venue to bring together local experts and diverse stakeholders to implement the education, research, monitoring, enforcement, and compliance activities needed for effective MPAs. 
  • MPA Video:  The Aquarium collaborated with the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy to develop an MPA education and outreach video that is shown daily at the Aquarium of the Bays MPA Exhibit and distributed widely online. 

Watch MPA video
  • Marine Protected Area National Advisory Committee. Brian Baird was appointed by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan to be an advisor on the MPA Federal Advisory Committee. He is one of 20 such advisors appointed Nationally. He has since been elected as Co-Chair of the External Funding Committee in charge of producing a report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on external funding sources to support marine protected areas at the local, regional, statewide, and national level.