What laws and regulations protect them?

Numerous tide pool habitats along the California coast are protected by state laws and regulations aimed at reducing the threat of collecting intertidal plants and animals by people. The state of California enacted the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) to increase the number, coherence, and effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). MPAs include many different types of protection levels and include both intertidal and other coastal marine ecosystems. The purpose of the MPAs is to protect plants and animals by prohibiting collecting of a list of species. You can find more information about MPAs at these locations: