Options on Alternate Configurations of Buffer zones

This file presents several possible configurations of buffer zones for the proposed MPA. It is important to recognize that this is only a proposal from one participant in how boundaries may be modified in the future as new research becomes available:
G. Fletcher, November 20, 2009,

A buffer zone for the MPA would solve several problems.
  • It could help eliminate the uncertainty over the actual reserve boundary, making it possible to monitor activities and report infractions more easily.
  • A buffer zone could ensure that such activities as ocean dumping, bilge discharge or ocean mining would not leave Race Rocks subject to possible future problems.
  • A buffer zone for commercial harvesting in place, would allow food resources of the species of the ecological reserve to be less compromised.
  • By requiring research permits for this area, regulation of all kinds of research can be better directed.
Below are presented a number of possible alternatives for defining a buffer zone. Units could be calculated in nautical miles also. Advantage of a straight side is that it allows accurate navigational points. Disadvantage -distance varies from tower.
#1: 3km square buffer around reserve #2: 4km parallel to reserve #3: 3km circle from reserve
bufferzone1 bufferzone2a bufferzone3-1

Several references mention the advantage of a buffer zone with such statements as “The buffer zones would reduce the likelihood of accidental incursions and would simplify enforcement activities,.”

In addition there will be no overflights by aircraft except where required by emergency operations or by Coast Guard at times acceptable to not interfere with breeding seasons. Cruise ships may not transit inside this 3 Km zone.