Visualizing the Protection of California’s Coast in a Timeline

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“Passed by the California State Legislature in 1999, the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) required the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to redesign its system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to increase its coherence and effectiveness at protecting the state’s marine life, habitats, and ecosystems. For the purposes of MPA planning, a public-private partnership commonly referred to as the MLPA Initiative was established, and the state was split into five distinct regions (four coastal and the San Francisco Bay) each of which had its own MPA planning process. All four coastal regions have completed these individual planning processes.”

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

As M&S learned more about the California coast while working with the California Ocean Science Trust, we devised many interesting ideas on ways to surface data that are functionally useful and visually beautiful. This Timeline below is one example that we determined would help us and others to understand the coastal protection history at a high level. Of course, we have plans to extend this already useful prototype to readily to include many more pertinent milestones and future events. We believe its utility and simplicity speak for itself, so please feel free to interact with the demo below:

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(Direct link)

Please note that the individual events can be grouped according to tags to organize them along the Timeline, as in the image below:


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