Environment & Science

MAP: California completes marine reserve, creates network of undersea sanctuaries

Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego, CA.
Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego, CA.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

California's 848-square-mile marine reserve, the largest network of undersea sanctuaries in the continental United States, is now complete.

The marine reserve stretching from the Oregon state line to the Mexico border encompasses 16 percent of state waters. Nine percent is off-limits to fishing.

State Fish and Game Commissioner Michael Sutton says the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act directed the agency to establish a statewide network of protected waters.

Modeled after strategies used on land, it sets up parks and refuges to conserve wildlife.

The Los Angeles Times reports the network's final segment on the state's north coast was officially completed on Wednesday.

The 137-square-mile protected zone is part of a deal reached among Native American tribes, conservation groups and fishermen to preserve tribal traditions while protecting marine life.

Below is a map of marine reserves in Southern California's waters:

2012 Southern California Marine Reserve Map