As established by WDFW Commission Policy, WDFW’s Marine Protected Areas are established to:
The WDFW Commission approach to implementing and designating MPAs includes:
- Preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage the living resources of the state.
- Provide refuges for stocks, substocks, or populations.
- Protect unique or important habitats or species.
- Foster stewardship of unique or important resources or habitats.
- Provide research and education areas.
- Provide baseline areas or reference sites.
- Provide non-consumptive recreational opportunities.
- Designed MPAs are needed in Puget Sound to protect a variety of species, to promote the recovery of some over-harvested species and to protect important habitats.
- To the extent possible, MPAs will be established based on scientific principles and available data.
- MPAs will not be delayed until all potential questions are answered since recovery of some depressed or declining resources will rely on the timely establishment of sites. The agency will rely on existing information to determine resources of concern and begin selection of areas.
- Regulations adopted will be as simple as possible at individual sites and throughout the network.
- Within the constraints of the above principles and objectives, uses compatible within the type of site and resource needs will be permitted.
- Opportunities will be made available for public involvement by consumptive and non-consumptive users during development of the network of areas and site selection.
- The agency will use adaptive management, including good neighbor practices, to modify the sites and the network as data is collected.