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Marine Reserve Plan Gets Bridge Loan


Aired 4/19/09

A plan to create a statewide network of marine protected areas in California is relying on private funding because of the state's budget crisis. California froze funding to many projects because of the state's $40 billion deficit. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The private money was needed so the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative or MLPA can complete a habitat-mapping project in Southern California - including areas along San Diego County's coastline.

Melissa Miller-Henson is the MLPA Initiative Program Manager.

She says the money will pay for mapping marine areas from Point Conception to the Mexican border.

There was only really one project that was affected and we were able to identify some bridge funding to temporarily keep that moving forward so that we can have the data that we need for the South Coast Study Region.

Recommendations for that region, including offshore islands off San Diego's coast, are expected to be completed this year.

The MLPA Initiative directs the state to create underwater reserves to preserve marine ecosystems and boost fish populations.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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