Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS)

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ASBS 19: Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Fish Refuge and Hopkins Marine Life Refuge. [1]
Areas of Biological Significance in California. [2]

The state of California has thirty-four regions in the California Ocean Plans as Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) in an effort to preserve marine ecosystems [3]. ASBS are regulated by the California Department of Fish and Game and the prohibition of stormwater discharge is regulated by the State Water Regional Control Board (SWRCB). In the Central Coast region, the Pacific Grove ASBS has 3.2 miles of coastline in Monterey County and lies entirely within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This area also contains the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area and Hopkins State Marine Reserve [4]

California first adopted the California Ocean Plan in 1972. The California Water Code also requires a review every three years [5]. According to the 2001 California Ocean Plan, no wastes can be discharged into ASBS. Discharges must be located outside the area of influence of ASBS to ensure maintenance of natural water quality conditions. ASBS are classified as State Water Quality Protections Areas (SWQPAs) in the California Public Resources Code [6].





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