Fitzgerald Marine Reserve lies within the Montara State Marine Reserve, part of a state-wide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) completed in 2012 under the Marine Life Protection Act. MPAs safeguard unique marine habitats to conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities.

MPAs can provide an important buffer to climate change. Healthy kelp forests and seagrass beds, which absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, mitigate the effects of ocean acidification, while rock fish and other species are better able to naturally cope with climate change stressors.

San Mateo County Parks is currently engaged in efforts that are essential to managing a successful MPA, namely public education and outreach, scientific monitoring, and enforcement. To support our education and outreach programs, interpretive displays are on site in Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and self-guided tour sheets are available for visitors. We also invite you to view our informational video, produced by Ranger Rob Cala, that explains the features and protections of an MPA, as well as the unique qualities that make Fitzgerald Marine Reserve a great location for scientific research. We continue to partner with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to enforce policies that protect marine life and to monitor climate change indicators such as acidification and kelp forest health.