Critical Habitat designations in California's Central Coast Region

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This page provides the definition of Critical Habitat and lists designations of Critical Habitat in California's Central Coast Region.

This page was created as part of the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


"Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act requires that Federal agencies must ensure that any activities they authorize, fund or carry out are not likely to destroy or adversely modify the designated Critical Habitat of a listed species." [1]

"NOAA Fisheries designates critical habitat by determining the conservation value of particular areas and balancing the benefits of designation against its impacts (e.g., economic, national security). The proposed designation then goes through a period of public comment before the final rule is published and critical habitat is designated." [1]


Critical Habitat is:[2]

  • Specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential to conservation, and those features may require special management considerations or protection
  • Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species if we determine that the area itself is essential for conservation

Critical Habitat represents the habitat essential for a species’ recovery.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many "Critical Habitat may include areas that are not currently occupied by a species, but that will be needed for its recovery." < The designation of Critical Habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness reserve, preserve or other special conservation area. The designation does not mandate government or public access to private lands. A critical Habitat designation has no effect in situations that do not involve a federal agency, for example, a private landowner undertaking a project that involves no federal funding or permitting.

Critical Habitat Designations in California's Central Coast Region


Critical Habitat is a very specific thing and should be in capitals.


Special Status Species

Federal Register: Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat; Implementing Changes to the Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat


  1. 1.0 1.1 NOAA: Critical Habitat on the West Coast
  2. NOAA: Listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)


This page may contain students' work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.