September 2014
In This Issue
The NEW California MPA Google Tour
Communicating the Value of Ocean Protection
MPAs and Communicating Online
The Central Coast Monitoring Dashboard
Central Coast Monitoring Survey
The Conversation on Ocean Health
North-Central Coast Regional Snapshot
Upcoming Events

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Welcome to the September issue of the California Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Education and Outreach newsletter!

In this issue we:
  • Announce the completion of the California MPA Google Tour
  • Share tips for communicating the value of ocean protection to the public
  • Feature Upwell's new findings on how to best communicate about MPAs
  • Link to the new Central Coast Monitoring Dashboard
  • Link to the Central Coast Monitoring Survey
  • Invite you to join the conversation on ocean health
  • Introduce the latest in North Central Coast monitoring
  • Announce upcoming events

Danielle Brown
California Marine Sanctuary Foundation


Dive into California's Underwater Parks! 

Explore California's Underwater Parks without getting your feet wet through a new online tour! Over the past two years the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation has been building online tours of each of California's marine protected areas using a new product from Google. We are excited to announce that the statewide tour is now complete. This online tour features more than 125 underwater parks from the Oregon border to Baja, and is divided into easy-to-navigate regional tours. Each tour explores all of the underwater parks along our amazing coast and features detailed descriptions of each of the state marine protected areas and National Marine Sanctuaries with stunning photos and videos, and links to local "things to do" for your enjoyment and ease of vacation planning. 



Follow the links below or visit the California MPAs website to get started on your tour!


The North Coast MPA TourThis tour explores the 20 state MPAs and 7 special closures along California's north coast.


The North-Central Coast MPA TourThis tour explores the 25 state MPAs and 6 special closures along California's north central coast as well as three National Marine Sanctuaries.


The Central Coast MPA TourThis tour explores the 29 state MPAs and one of the National Marine Sanctuaries along California's central coast. 


The South Coast MPA TourThis tour explores the 50 state MPAs and two special closures along California's south coast, as well as one National Marine Sanctuary.

Communicating the Value of Ocean Protection

President Obama made headlines around the world recently when he announced plans to create the world's largest marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean. When you are talking about two million square kilometers of pristine coral reefs, it's easy to grasp the significance of an MPA.  The smaller protected areas closer to home conserve key estuaries, sloughs, kelp forests and coastal islands, yet tend to draw far less media attention. Despite their small size, small marine protected areas can have positive benefits. 


The push to raise awareness has been strong, but because the threats facing our ocean are hard to see from shore, and the language of marine conservation unfamiliar to many audiences, we need to work to build public passion for MPAs, in the same manner that land-based parks enjoy.  This makes communication tools crucial!


Resource Media partnered with CMSF and Michael Sutton, president of California's Fish and Game Commission, to lead a training on MPA messaging. Below are the top 5 tips:

  1. Put people in the picture.
  2. Meet your audience where they are (literally and figuratively).
  3. Bridge from the familiar to the unfamiliar.
  4. Emphasize results, not process.
  5. End with a call to action.

To learn more, see the Resource Media blog post or you can watch the webinar on YouTube.


Communicating Online About California's Marine Protected Areas

This year, Upwell looked at how people talk about California's MPAs online to learn what drives conversation and understand how to better engage Californians in ocean conservation. They came up with some great tools that can be used to raise the dialogue on MPAs, compiled their recommendations into a handy tipsheet for ocean communicators and held a public webinar with their findings. 
You can watch the recording of the webinar or view and download the slides. To see the complete blog post with all of the resources, click here.

Explore Research and Monitoring Projects in the Central Coast!

California Ocean Science Trust is thrilled to launch the Central Coast Monitoring Dashboard! The dashboard allows anybody to explore research and monitoring activities in the region. To date, information from 38 projects - including almost 1,300 monitoring sites! - is now publicly available through the dashboard's interactive tables, maps, and figures. California Ocean Science Trust has made this information readily accessible. For more details about the dashboard and survey, please visit the Central Coast region page on

There's Still Time: Participate in the Central Coast Monitoring Survey


Coordinators and managers of Central Coast research and monitoring projects are invited to complete the Central Coast Monitoring Survey through September 26, 2014. Your survey results are an important ingredient in helping California Ocean Science Trust - and its partners at California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Ocean Protection Council - design the next phase of MPA monitoring. For more details about the survey please visit the Central Coast region page on


Join the Conversation on Ocean Health



What brought 65 people to a wood-paneled room, almost 100 miles from the sea, to sit down and talk about it? Find out herewhere you can also join the conversation. Experts discussed ocean health, and how integral it is to our own lives whether we live on the coasts or inland. Also, don't miss the latest news on one of the greatest threats our oceans have ever faced, and what's being done about it here. Plus, meet the members of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel, watch videos and more here on OceanSpaces.


Explore What's New on the North Central Coast   

A new product, now available from the North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program, highlights the latest in monitoring work for the region. The Regional Snapshot covers commercial fishing, coastal recreation, sandy beaches, rocky reefs, and more. Find it here on OceanSpaces to learn more about ongoing research projects in North Central Coast marine protected areas.


Upcoming Events
MPA Docent Training Handbook Webinar
Thursday, September 25th

You're invited to the first of a series of four webinars, which will walk you through a newly developed MPA Docent Training Handbook. This webinar is designed for docents and naturalists to provide a primer on marine protected areas and provide invaluable tools for sharing information with the public.


If you are interested in attending, please hold this date on your calendar and register on-line here. You can also RSVP to Miho Umezawa at or (916) 905-5649.    


Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House & Native Plant Fair
Saturday, September 27th
Free admission

Celebrate National Estuaries Day at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve! Enjoy walks and talks with land stewards and researchers, get creative with kids crafts at the award-winning Visitor Center, peek at the slough's microscopic life in the state-of-the-art education lab, and browse the Native Plant Fair for gardening ideas.  Free and fun for the whole family!

For more information, visit or call (831)728-2822


Reef Check Foundation Gala Benefit to Help Preserve Ocean Reefs Worldwide
Thursday, October 2nd
Reef Check Foundation, the world's largest volunteer reef monitoring and conservation organization, will host its annual gala fundraising event, "Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans" at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, California. The gala will feature great music, exceptional food, exclusive auction items, celebrities and the unique chance to meet some of the thousands of volunteer Reef Check EcoDivers who monitor Californian and tropical reefs as part of the Reef Check Foundation's citizen scientist programs. Tickets can be purchased online here. For any questions, please call 310-230-2371 or email

Monterey Beach Sportsfest- Healthy People, Healthy Oceans
Saturday, October 4th- Sunday, October 5th

There is no better way to enjoy and connect with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary than taking a weekend to get your feet wet and enjoy some ocean activities! A celebration of ocean and human wellness, the two-day Monterey Bay Sportsfest features water and beach competitions including ocean waterpolo, beach volleyball, .5, 1 and 2.5 mile open water swims, a Splash and Dash, and the Ikaika Challenge combining swimming, strength activities and a beach run. Public activities include beach yoga, mindful movement and wellness and ocean-related vendors and non-profits at the "Healthy People, Healthy Oceans" expo.   


Check out their Facebook page for regular updates and learn more on the Sportsfest website


San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival Call for Entry

Early deadline is October 1st

Final deadline is November 30th

The San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival (SFIOFF), North America's premier film festival for independent, ocean inspired films, announces its "Call for Entry." Submissions are currently being accepted for the upcoming 12th Annual film festival to be held in San Francisco in March 2015. Early deadline is October 1st. The ever-popular 4th Annual Student Film Competition is also open, accepting entries from middle school and high school students. Submit your film and help us inspire our audiences to care for and protect the ocean. For more information, please visit 


BLUE Ocean Film Festival's 2014 YouTube Video Contest Call for Entry

Deadline is October 15th

What do you do to keep the ocean blue? Create a 3 minute video that showcases your efforts to ensure the health of the oceans and the life within! From picking up trash to eating sustainable seafood, we want to know what people are doing to keep our Ocean's BLUE for generations to come!
Don't miss this opportunity to display your filmmaking talents, show your commitment to a healthy ocean, and have a chance to win a trip for 2 to the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit in November 2014.  

For more information visit the Blue 2014 YouTube Contest Page.

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation 
99 Pacific Street, Building 455 
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 647 - 4209