The first marine reserve in the United States is was Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in California.
Around 1890, after coal mining became less profitable, the land around the reserve was divided into residential lots. In 1898 Alexander M. Allan set about buying all of those lots back, because he recognized that increased tourism in the area could destroy it. With his wife, he set up a toll gate, banned camping and restricted picnic fires in the area.
Original conservation efforts surrounded the Monterey cypress trees, which do not grow anywhere else in the world. The state of California purchased the park back from Allan in 1933.
It wasn’t until 1960 that 750 underwater acres were added to the park, making it the first marine reserve in the nation.
The world’s first no-take reserves is the marine reserve at Goat Island Bay, New Zealand. It was first opened in 1977 and was revolutionary. No-take meant that this stretch of coastline was to be completely free of human interference.
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