Marine Protected Areas  (MPAs)

Tribal Co-Managed Marine Protected Areas  (MPAs)

Through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Wishtoyo and its VCK program is advocating to best ensure a network of MPA’s are established that protects the ecologically integrity and fisheries of the Southern California Bight (SCB). 

Designating MPAs with tribal co-management components within the Southern California MPA network, is a way to best ensure that Southern California’s marine and coastal ecosystems are protected and to maintain and restore Southern California’s marine fisheries, while preserving and learning from the Chumash culture that understands how to live sustainably with our coastal resources. The foundation for Wishtoyo and its Ventura Coastkeeper program's advocacy for MPAs with tribal co-management components is Wishtoyo Foundation’s White Paper: Tribal Marine Protected Areas: Protecting Maritime Ways and Cultural Practices (please click to view).

Wishtoyo is currently advocating for a Chumash co-management MPA in the MLPA Initiative Proposal generating process. Please click here for Wishtoyo Foundation’s Proposal for a Chumash Co-Managed State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) MPA (Sequit MPA) with a moderate high level of protection from Leo Carrillo State Beach to Zuma Beach (Trancas) in Malibu, California. For information about how Wishtoyo's Proposed Chumash Co-Managed SMCA fits into Wishtoyo's priority to establish a network of ecologically protective MPA's that includes a Marine Reserve off of Point Dume, please Click Here

Wishtoyo’s proposal has evolved following Wishtoyo’s and its Ventura Coastkeeper Program's:

1) April 9, 2009 MLPA Comment Letter

2) April 28, 2009 public comment at the SCRSG MLPA meeting

3) Work with and feedback from the SCRSG workgroups on April 29, 2009

4) The hosting of and Chumash co-management presentation to SCRSG members, MLPA Initiative Staff, and representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game at Wishtoyo’s Chumash Discovery Village.

The Chumash Co-Management component of the proposal is supported in full by the Federally recognized Santa Ynez Chumash. VCK’s proposal best meets the goals of the MLPA to protect, conserve and restore California’s marine life, habitats, natural heritage and ecosystem functions, while supporting and cultivating recreational, educational, study, efficient management, and enforcement opportunities.

As proposed by VCK, the Sequit SMCA MPA would be co-managed by Chumash Native Americans and would allow traditional and ceremonial utilization of the oceans natural resources. The Wishtoyo Foundation’s Chumash Demonstration Village would provide invaluable enforcement/monitoring, educational, and cultural preservation opportunities and capabilities to the Sequit SMCA.


The Sequit SMCA MPA with a Tribal Co-Management Component led by the Wishtoyo Foundation, and other Chumash government and non government organizations will help best achieve the MLPA goals for seven reasons: (1) It provides for sound management and enforcement of the SMCA; (2) It provides a powerful educational platform to promote sustainable ocean ecosystem and fisheries management and to redefine our relationship with the ocean; (3) It protects and preserves Chumash maritime culture and traditional connection with the ocean and its resources in accordance with the mandates of the MLPA regarding cultural preservation; (4) It best protects submerged cultural and sacred resources and archeological sites; (5) It satisfies nine “Design Considerations” approved by the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force that will be difficult to achieve without its inclusion; (6) It facilitates all of the “Implementation and Management Activities” to be included in regional MPA plans as set forth and approved by the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force; and (7) it protects sensitive, diverse, and ecologically important ocean and coastal habitats.