Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch Volunteer Training

The Otter Project / MPA Watch: 

Do you love walking along the coast around SLO?  Would you like to be a part of making our oceans healthier? We’re seeking volunteers for MPA Watch, a citizen monitoring program in support of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) on the central coast. MPAs are similar to underwater parks in that they protect some of the most unique and richest coastal ecosystems the state has to offer.  In order to preserve what’s special about MPAs, some offshore and onshore activities (e.g. commercial fishing, tidepool collecting) are restricted to order to conserve the resources.  However, such restrictions are only effective if people know about them and abide by them.  The purpose of MPA watch is to train volunteers to monitor human activity (e.g. surfing, kayaking) in and around MPAs to determine whether MPAs are being used as intended.  Volunteers only observe and record activities – you are not expected to enforce any rules. The data volunteers collect provides important information to state agencies, such as the Department of Fish & Wildlife, on how coastal and marine resources are being used and how to better manage them.  By walking along beaches in Montana de Oro, Point Buchon and Cambria, volunteers can combine their love of the coast while collecting valuable scientific data.

Interested? Join us for a training session at Montana de Oro on Thursday, October 24th at 11:00AM.  Please RSVP to holly@otterproject.  More info: www.otterproject.org



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