April 2019
MARINE PROTECTED AREA NEWS
A quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date on MPAs!
Welcome to the Spring 2019 issue of the California Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Newsletter! 

In this issue, you will find updates on MPA related projects as well as a variety of events and opportunities for getting involved in the coming months. 
Ocean Recreation Guides Now Available
We have created ocean recreation guides for most of California's coastal counties!

These guides were designed with ocean recreation and charter fishing businesses in mind and contain local information, fun facts and pictures of species you're likely to see on the water, maps, and local topics of interest. These are being laminated and bound as a self-guided PPT for use by businesses on the water, docents giving tours, etc. These guides are also available in pdf form here.

If you are interested in customizing the files for your organization or business, please contact katelyn@californiamsf.org for an editable version.  
Plan NOW for World Ocean Day 
Join the global community this upcoming World Oceans Day (June 8) to celebrate and take action for the ocean! 

WorldOceansDay.org  serves as a coordinating platform with  event ideas  and a variety of  resources  including  plastic pollution resources  and  promotional materials  available in 17+ languages. Register  your event to promote and share your celebration with the world on the  event map

Follow @WorldOceansDay on social media for the latest updates.

MPA Monitoring with Citizen Science
Citizen science - the involvement of non-scientists in the production of scientific knowledge - can generate biodiversity data at spatial and temporal scales difficult to achieve by other approaches. A team ncollaboration between the California Academy of Sciences, the California Ocean Protection Council, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife - is building the capacity to use citizen science observations to understand and monitor biodiversity across California's Marine Protected Area (MPA) network! 
 
The team is developing innovative approaches and tools ( MPA Explorer app in development;  Snapshot Cal Coast app in development) to make use of the Academy's citizen science efforts and iNaturalist community-contributed observations in support of the State of California's long-term MPA Monitoring Action Plan. Their aims are twofold. First, to provide resource managers with a framework for integrating iNaturalist and Snapshot Cal Coast observations into long-term Marine Protected Area monitoring. Second, to understand the effects of changing ocean conditions on California coastal biodiversity by looking for patterns in these data over space and time, such as species range shifts or changes in community diversity.
 
Want to help?! 
Imagine you could reliably estimate any current or future property of coastal ecosystems to facilitate your professional and/or recreational activity, what would you want to know? What would you like to know about biodiversity within and outside MPAs and across California's coast? Are you interested in how people interact with coastal ecosystems, where and when they go, and what they choose to observe? If you have unanswered questions about coastal biodiversity and MPAs in California, please answer the 5-min survey.

PARTNER UPDATES
 
Ocean Protection Council Updates
MPA Workshop in Sacramento - May 23, 2019

Safeguarding Our Underwater Wilderness: A Deep Dive into California's Marine Protected Areas

Come join the Ocean Protection Council in celebrating California's marine protected areas (MPAs) as we reflect on the establishment of the state's MPA network, learn about compelling ocean science, and explore innovative ways to support MPA effectiveness into the future.


May 23, 2019

Location: to be decided, in Sacramento


9:00am - 11:00am Innovative Science and Management of California's MPAs
  • Participate in a review of California's MPAs, a scientific panel highlighting recent MPA research, and a panel of local and regional experts showcasing innovative approaches to MPA stewardship.
11:00am - 12:30pm MPA Partners Fair
  • OPC's partners will exhibit displays detailing their unique MPA-related efforts. This is an open forum for partners to discuss their work and share ideas with the Council and the public.
  • Lunch buffet will begin at 11:30am, provided by the Resource Legacy Fund
1:00pm - 4:00pm Ocean Protection Council Meeting
  • Head over to the California Environmental Protection Agency's Coastal Hearing Room at 1001 I Street. The meeting agenda will be posted on OPC's website by May 13.
For more information, and a full agenda of the event, visit this link.
CDFW MPA Management Program Updates
California's MPA network is managed collaboratively through the   MPA Management Program, which includes four focal areas: outreach and education, enforcement and compliance, research and monitoring, and policy and permitting. Updates for each of the components are as follows:

Outreach and Education

MPA e-newsletter: In June 2018, CDFW began releasing monthly e-newsletters detailing updates for the MPA Management Program . Archived newsletters are available under "  MPA e-newsletters ". If you would like to receive future updates sign up for the mailing list here .
 
Point Lobos State Marine Reserve
MPA blog posts: Since 2015 CDFW has released stories about California's MPAs in a blog series titled Exploring California's MPAs, the most recent installment is about  Casino Point State Marine Conservation Area in southern California, and archived blogs are available   here .

MPA 2018 highlights video: Catch a glimpse of the 2018 MPA Management Program in action! CDFW recently released a  video representing 2018 highlights from each of the four focal areas comprising the MPA Management Program.
 
International Collaboration: The international community continues to reach out to learn more about management of California's MPA management program. Most recently, a delegation of marine resource managers from Indonesia visited California to discuss strategies for managing MPAs. They met with multiple state and federal agencies, including CDFW, to discuss the governance structure of California's MPA network for insight into how to manage Indonesia's existing and new MPAs.


Enforcement and Compliance

Assembly Bill 2369 : Implemented January 1, 2019, the new law increases penalties for commercial fishing violations in MPAs.


Policy and Permitting
 

MPA regulations : On January 1, 2019 new MPA regulations went into effect following their adoption at the August 2018 Fish and Game Commission meeting.   Tribal take in MPAs is now allowed in four southern California state marine conservation areas (Kashtayit, Naples, Point Dume and Anacapa Island), and a boundary modification applies for Stewarts Point State Marine Conservation Area and State Marine Reserve.   Rockport Rocks Special Closure was repealed at the beginning of the new year after it was found to be on privately owned land.


Research and Monitoring

Long-term MPA monitoring: To guide long-term monitoring, CDFW and Ocean Protection Council (OPC) staff developed an  MPA Monitoring Action Plan (Action Plan) which prioritizes key measures and metrics, habitats, sites, species, human uses, and evaluation questions to target for long-term monitoring. The Action Plan was approved by both the California Fish and Game Commission and OPC in October 2018. Using the guidance outlined in the Action Plan, the state released a  solicitation for qualification and proposal requests in November 2018. Selected projects will begin monitoring efforts in May 2019 and will continue through 2021.

China Rockfish at Northern Farallon Island
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV): From 2014 to 2017 scientists from CDFW and Marine Applied Research and Exploration conducted an extensive statewide survey of deep-water habitats inside and outside of MPAs off California's coast using a ROV. Over 130 sites were surveyed, more than 50,000 underwater photographs were taken, and hundreds of hours of video were recorded to help inform management of these deep-water habitats. A summary of the work completed is available here, and the full report is available here.


MPA Collaborative Network Update 
In February 2019, small grant projects were completed by all 14 Collaboratives through a  program funded by the California Ocean Protection Council. A diverse array of projects were developed, meeting the needs of our coastal communities and beyond. 

Several Collaboratives produced materials for inclusion in MPA Teacher Toolboxes. Ocean and MPA-specific curricula were developed that meet Next Generation Science Standards, and tribal-specific MPA curricula and video were also developed as part of this effort. 

An MPA Coloring book and an activity booklet were developed to provide a fun and educational way for kids to learn about MPAs.

New online resources were produced such as an interactive MPA map and an online MPA Ambassador Training.  Several Collaborative also produced new, or updated MPA brochures and increased their efforts for targeted distribution of these. 

We are excited for the continued impact that these small grant projects will have in our communities for raising MPA awareness and compliance. The final projects can be viewed and downloaded from the MPACollaborative Network website .

MPA Watch Update 
MPA Watch, a network of programs that collect human-use data in marine  protected areas in order to keep our oceans clean and healthy, has launched a new, revamped website   and social media pages.
 
MPA Watch volunteers observe California's beaches and bluffs inside and outside MPAs, recording all offshore and onshore coastal activities from recreational activities such as swimming and surfing to commercial activities such as fishing. Volunteers are trained to recognize different types of activities and to record their observations on data sheets.
 
You can help support MPAs by joining a MPA Watch program as a volunteer. Local volunteers have submitted more than  23,000 surveys to date. Opportunities exist in all coastal counties in California.
 
People interested in learning more are encouraged to visit mpawatch.org and  follow MPA Watch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
 
Upcoming Events
Wilder Ranch State Park-Old Cove Landing Trail Hikes
Saturday, April 20 at 11am
Saturday, April 27 at 11am

On this 2.5 mile, 2-hour family friendly walk, we'll explore the plants, animals, and geology of our coastal bluffs. Bring water, hat, closed toe shoes, layered clothing, and binoculars if available. Rain cancels. Meet at the interpretive center. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505. Event free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Saturday April 20, 11am-5pm

Heal the Bay's award-swimming Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier has programmed a day filled with fun activities for all ages. Families can experience the Santa Monica Bay and see all the local animals without getting their feet wet. Short film screenings, Earth Day-themed story time, live animal presentations, face painting, and an eco-themed crafts station will round out the celebration in the Aquarium. In addition, visitors who walk to the west end of the Santa Monica Pier will find a wildlife station stocked with binoculars and bird identification guides. 

Restore the Dunes with Friends of the Dunes!
Saturday, April 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m

Volunteers will be removing invasive plants to make room for native plant diversity. Tools, gloves, and snacks will be provided, please bring water and wear work clothes. Meet at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, 220 Stamps Lane in Manila. For more information contact info@friendsofthedunes.org or call (707) 444-1397.

Earth Week at Seymour Center
April 23-28th

Each April, our Earth Week celebration includes free admission for anyone arriving via people power (bicycle, walking, etc.) or via public transportation. Learn more about the big blue planet called Earth. The Seymour Center thanks you for doing your part to reduce your carbon emissions! For more information, visit: seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/learn/family-activities/family-events/#earth-week. The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is located at 100 McAllister Way in Santa Cruz, California 95060. 

Free Bird Talk & Nature Walk with Amigos de Bolsa Chica
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 10am

Join the Amigos de Bolsa Chica for a free Bird Talk & Nature Walk on the last Saturday of every month! Considered one of the prime birding sites of Southern California, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands are home to over 200 species of birds. Led by birding experts, the walk takes place from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and departs from the South Parking Lot of the  Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (across Coast Highway from the Bolsa Chica State Beach entrance). Email   info@amigosdebolsachica.orgor call 714-840-1575 to reserve a spot.

Aquarium of the Pacific's Earth Day Celebration
April 27, 28th

Learn what you can do to help our ocean planet at the Aquarium of the Pacific's nineteenth annual Earth Day Celebration. Join the Aquarium for a weekend of family fun celebrating Earth Day while learning simple, everyday tips to protect our environment. Visit booths from various Earth-friendly organizations, and participate in hands-on learning demonstrations for people of all ages. General Admission--$29.95 adult (12+), $26.95 senior (62+), $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members. For more  information  and tickets, visit this site