Southern California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) [link] went into effect January 1st, 2012, and we need strong community support in order to ensure their success. If you like to walk on the beach, people watch, and are interested in supporting marine conservation, then this is the perfect volunteer activity for you!
Join WiLDCOAST’s new citizen-science data collection program called “MPA Watch” to be part of the effort to succeed in the long-term success of the newly establish MPA network in San Diego County. We will host a two-part volunteer training on August 16 and 18. No previous experience is required, and volunteers will be trained in the use of basic field data collection equipment (binoculars and compass) and pen and paper data sheets.
When: August 16th and 18th
August 16 - Class Training (snacks provided, bring your own bottle)
- Tijuana Estuary Training Center - 310 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach CA 91932
- 6 - 8 p.m.
August 18 - Field Training Beach
- Tijuana River Mouth State Conservation Area (end of seacoast drive)
- 10 a.m. - Noon
- Classroom training on August 16 must be completed
If you are attending the training please email Diane Castaneda at diane@wildcoastnet.
MPA Watch Volunteer Requirements
- Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age
- Ability to hike outdoors at the beach for about 1.5 hours
- All volunteers must give at least a 6-month commitment, ideally completing 2-4 surveys a month in the field. Once trained, volunteer monitoring times are flexible
- Volunteers must attend the trainings (one in the classroom, and one in the field)
What is MPA Watch?
MPA Watch is a citizen science data collection program designed to better understand how people are using their new MPAs. Volunteers will be trained to collect valuable data on ocean users and their activities, such as surfing, kayaking, fishing, boating, running, etc. These surveys will allow us to better understand how people are using the MPAs, and we will also evaluate compliance with the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) policies and regulations. This data will also help us to understand where there may be a need for enhanced education and outreach, signage, and law enforcement.
Please note that we are not asking any MPA Watch volunteers to police any of the ocean users, rather just to observe and record beach and ocean activity taking place during their data collection walk.
WiLDCOAST is an international conservation group that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. Since 2008 WiLDCOAST has been at the forth front of the Marine Life Protection Act helping in the creation and adoption of Southern California’s new MPAs. Since the adoption of the MPAs on January 1s, 2012, WiLDCOAST has been working to educate San Diego residents and visitors about the new MPA network and providing opportunities to participate in stewardship actions.
If you have any questions about the program and/or training please contact Conservation Program Coordinator Diane Castaneda at firstname.lastname@example.org.