Cal Poly marine science program wins $720,000 state grant

Cal Poly’s Center for Coastal Marine Sciences won a scientific competition for a $720,000 state grant to help improve how California manages its near-shore fishing grounds, according to university officials.

The competition was sponsored by the California Sea Grant program and the California Ocean Protection Council.

For the past five years, a Cal Poly research program has monitored impacts of the state's relatively new marine protected areas on fish populations.

Cal Poly students and professors are boarding local fishing boats to participate in the catching, counting, measuring and releasing fish species at designated study spots inside and outside Central Coast marine protected areas.

In addition to Cal Poly, the program involves five harbor communities, ranging from Half Moon Bay to Port San Luis, more than 500 fishermen, 15 recreational and commercial fishing boats based on the Central Coast, and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

For more information, go to www.slosea.org.