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Marine Protected Areas

Dive in and come learn about an exciting the network of special underwater protected areas along the California coastline with Rikki Eriksen.  In 2012, California became an international leader in ocean conservation by completing the first statewide network of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States that safeguard our underwater wildlife, restore our oceans bounty and ensure this beauty remains for future generations to enjoy. 

The Central Coast and Monterey were early adopters and set the stage for the rest of the state, setting aside key habitats such as kelp forests, rocky reefs, sandy bottom, deep canyons and coastal estuaries.  Learn about the new threats facing our ocean, and what you can do to help.

Dr. Rikki Eriksen, PhD., is a marine ecologist with over 20 years working in the Caribbean, US and South Pacific Islands to improve ecosystem health, water quality and local management capacity.  Her work informs terrestrial and marine policy to increase socio-economic, cultural and ecosystem service benefits for coastal communities. As Director of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Program for the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, she helps implement the state’s Marine Life Protection Act. 

Her research focuses on delivering science to improve the management of coral reefs, carrying out empirical studies to better understand reef processes such as coral reef disease, sedimentation, water quality, climate change and fisheries and marine protected areas management. One goal is to protect more total area and more sensitive habitats in MBNMS while improving fishing opportunities for the bottom trawl fleet.  Rikki holds a Master’s degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. at the University of Florida.

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Mission Statements


To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Docent volunteers serve as a visible representative of California State Parks at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve promoting the California State Parks mission.  These four simple words -- preserve, protect, educate and interpret -- sum up the docent experience. 


Our mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks.

Docent Log-in

Docent led walks

  • Tue, 01/23/2018 - 11:30am
    Information Station
    Gregg Margossian
  • Tue, 01/23/2018 - 1:30pm
    Information Station
    Tama Olver
  • Wed, 01/24/2018 - 11:00am
    Whalers Cabin
    Peter Fletcher


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School Walks

To schedule a school field trip please contact Melissa Gobell, School Coordinator at:  (831) 625-1470

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers needed to be interpretive guides for visitors.  Interested?  For training schedule contact:  Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator  (831) 625-1470