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Marine Protected Area Use Guidelines

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Lots of harbor seals on the beach

The shore and subtidal areas off Hopkins Marine Station lie within two Marine Protected Areas: the state-managed Lovers Point - Julia Platt State Marine Reserve and the federally-managed Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Depending on the nature of research or teaching being conducted, individuals may need to obtain permits from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and/or the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Drone (UFV) flights for research and teaching require permissions and coordination with wildlife monitoring groups (see details below).

Working in the Intertidal/Subtidal from Hopkins Shore

Hopkins students, faculty and staff:  please check with the refuge manager prior to initiating work in the Marine Protected Area to make sure you have the necessary permits, and to facilitate respectful coordination of site use.

All visitors accessing the shoreline for intertidal work from Hopkins property should submit a Hopkins Use form and waivers in addition to copies of any DFW and MBNMS permits. In-water activity (diving, free diving, snorkeling, swimming) when conducted from the Hopkins shoreline or from Hopkins vessels is managed through the diving program; please follow the procedures described under visiting divers.

CA Department of Fish and Wildlife Permitting for Scientific Collecting

A valid CA DFW Scientific Collecting Permit is required for any person collecting for research or education in the marine protected area off Hopkins, including tagging and/or marking specimens. CA DFW regulations apply to Hopkins students, staff and faculty as well as visiting investigators.

DFW Scientific Collecting Permit information and forms

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Permitting

Certain types of activities (e.g. mooring installation, sea floor alteration, drilling, bolt installation, settlement panel & cage installation) are regulated by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Please see the MBNMS Permits and Regulations pages for information and permit applications. MBNMS regulations apply to Hopkins students, staff and faculty as well as visiting investigators.

Drone permitting and coordination

Drone users need to obtain a permit from Stanford University's UFV Commitee: Operation of Unmanned Flying Vehicles (DoResearch -

In addition, drone operations at Hopkins require a permit from the city of Pacific Grove, as well as permission from the FAA since we are within a five-mile radius of the Monterey Airport: dronesbrochure-final.pdf (

Local wildlife monitoring groups need to be on site during drone flights. Coordination instructions will be given once all permits are obtained.