Tag Archives: MPA Watch

MPA Watch in Need of Volunteers

Learn How to Support Today

Monterey, CA, May 15, 2018 — California’s scenic and spectacular 840-mile coastline and ocean are among the country’s most treasured resources and is central to the state’s identity, heritage and economy. California also leads the nation and the world in ocean protection, ensuring the preservation of important ecosystems along its coastline.

Volunteers are often the lifeblood of the many and varied organizations, both public and private, that help preserve and protect the coast and ocean. One of those organizations is MPA Watch, a citizen science monitoring program that trains volunteers to observe and collect unbiased data on human uses of coastal and marine resources both inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

By involving local communities in this important work, MPA Watch programs inspire and empower stewardship of the coast and ocean, and educate community members about California’s ocean ecosystems.

MPA Watch programs across the state of California are continually training a network of volunteers to monitor resource use inside and outside these protected areas. Volunteers use standardized protocols to collect relevant, scientifically rigorous, and broadly accessible data.

Not only do local volunteers learn about their coastal environment and become “citizen scientists” and stewards of the area, but they generate large quantities of monitoring data that would not be possible under the current state budget.

Citizen-science, also known as community science, is research conducted by trained volunteers from the general public who are interested in science, monitoring, and conservation of the marine environment. But, you do not need any scientific background to collect data for these surveys.

Volunteers will be trained to collect valuable data on ocean users and their activities, such as surfing, kayaking, fishing, boating, running, etc. Specifically, the MPA Watch volunteers will observe and record both consumptive and non-consumptive offshore and onshore activities in and around MPAs, which will improve our understanding of how people are using these new MPAs.

Data are meant to inform the management, enforcement, and science of California’ MPAs and allow us to see how human uses are changing as a result of implementation of these MPAs.

From 2010 to 2015, more than 850 MPA Watch volunteers were actively engaged in surveying MPAs from Mendocino County to San Diego County, resulting in more than 10,000 surveys.

Organizations in your community are always looking for volunteers to do this important work. To get involved, contact organizations that are operating MPA Watch programs in your area. Current organizations and their contact persons include:

Heal the Bay – Los Angeles County (Land-Based)

Jenna Segal, jsegal@healthebay.org

Los Angeles Waterkeeper – Los Angeles County (Boat-Based)

Michael Quill, mquill@lawaterkeeper.org

Orange County Coastkeeper – Orange County

Ray Hiemstra, ray@coastkeeper.org

Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) – Marin County

Morgan Patton, morgan@eacmarin.org

California Academy of Sciences

Rebecca Johnson, rjohnson@calacademy.org

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper – Santa Barbara County

Penny Owens, penny@sbck.org

WILDCOAST – San Diego County

Angela Kemsley, angela@wildcoast.org

Greater Farallones Association – San Francisco and Surrounding Counties

Kirsten Lindquist, klindquist@farallones.org

Eagle Eyes of False Klamath Cove – Del Norte County

Ruthie Maloney, ruthiemaloney@gmail.com

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.mpawatch.org