The mud of Käina Bay was placed under state protection in 1939. Käina Bay was placed under protection as an ornithological restricted area and Kassari Island as a restricted landscape area in 1961. The unified Käina Bay – Kassari Landscape Protection Area was founded in 1998.
The two most important documents about the protection area are the protection rules and the management plan. The protection rules establish the different zones and the prohibited and permitted actions in the reserve. The management plan is the applied action plan for necessary works to be done in the protection area.
According to the protection rules, the aim of the Käina Bay – Kassari Landscape Protection Area is to protect:
- the semi-natural communities around Käina Bay and Kassari Island and Käina Bay itself;
- the migratory stopovers and nesting sites of birds;
- habitat types;
- protected species.
According to the protection procedure, the Käina Bay – Kassari Landscape Protection Area is divided into:
- 11 conservation zones (with a total area of 4,163 ha);
- 4 limited management zones (with a total area of 1,518.2 ha).
Restrictions for activities are based on the Nature Conservation Act and the protection rules of the Käina Bay – Kassari Landscape Protection Area. The basis of planning work and activities is the management plan of the Käina Bay – Kassari Landscape Protection Area for 2015–2024 that is a document organising protection in the protection area.
The principles of managing protection in the landscape protection area:
- finding balance between maintaining, recovering and managing the natural and semi-natural communities; the mowing of hay and reed, herding animals, thinning the trees and bushes are necessary activities in the reserve;
- guaranteeing favourable conditions for birds during nesting and migration times and favourable living conditions for fish;
- Preserving, recovering and developing a diverse landscape with a high cultural and environmental value.