K&W Senior Director/Senior Mediator Eric Poncelet designed and facilitated four separate regional stakeholder groups as part of a six-year effort to implement California’s Marine Life Protection Act. Each group was comprised of a broad range of interests—including commercial and recreational fishing, tribes, harbormasters, ocean-dependent businesses, conservation organizations, divers, and other recreationists, education and research interests, and federal, state, and local agencies. The groups were charged with developing proposals for marine protected areas – in essence, parks in the ocean – in California state waters. All four groups successfully developed proposals and forwarded these to the state for consideration and action. Eric Poncelet co-authored two articles about this effort in the Journal Ocean and Coastal Management examining how the stakeholder processes adapted to region-specific challenges and the innovative and unconventional public outreach and engagement strategies that were part of the initiative’s public participation approach. Both articles can be accessed through the Ocean and Coastal Management journal website here.