April 2020 
Welcome to April 2020 issue of the California Marine Protected Area
(MPA) Education and Outreach Newsletter! 

In this issue, you will find updates on MPA related projects and a variety
of activities to keep you entertained while sheltering in place.
Statement on COVID-19
In these unprecedented and challenging times, with COVID-19 turning life as we know it upside-down, we wanted to thank all of the public health workers and medical professionals that are fighting the pandemic on the front lines and the service workers keeping essential businesses functioning.

However you choose to spend your time sheltering in place and social distancing, we wanted to send wishes of good health and safety. After the usual updates on MPA programs, you will find a selection of fun and engaging content that we hope will help you feel closer to California’s coast during these crazy times. While it may be difficult to remain home, we assure you that California’s wild coastline will be waiting for us all when this is over! - CMSF Staff

CA Marine Sanctuary Foundation Updates
Social Media Webinar Coming Soon!
CMSF has been working with Resource Media, a communications firm, to better understand content that resonates with critical audiences for MPA outreach.

In mid May, we will hold a webinar in partnership with Resource Media to discuss findings from the testing phase, and introduce best practices that will help guide a social media campaign focused on MPAs.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!
CMSF Values Your Input!
Partner Updates
California Department of Fish & Wildlife
MPA Management Program Updates
CDFW manages California’s 124 MPAs and 14 special closures as a network using a
partnership-based approach through the MPA Management Program .
Outreach & Education
Did you know that CDFW posts a blog series, Exploring California’s MPAs, that tells a story about each unique MPA in the Network? The most recent “Exploring California’s MPAs” blog features Montara SMR and CDFW’s partnership with San Mateo County Parks and Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Watch this cool video about some of the MPA’s most colorful residents, the nudibranchs!” 
Monitoring & Research
The state’s MPA network is managed with support from the scientific community. Two working groups have been convened by the Ocean Protection Council to discuss high level science issues regarding the MPA network. The MPA Decadal Review working group is focused on evaluating the alignment of state supported MPA research and monitoring to the Marine Life Protection Act goals, identifying research gaps, and providing recommendations on science needs and priorities going forward. The MPAs and Climate Resilience working group is discussing how the MPA network may contribute to climate resilience and ways in which this may be assessed. Both groups had in-person meetings in February, bringing together scientists with different areas of expertise to share their knowledge, questions, and ideas. The findings from these two working groups will contribute to the 2022 Decadal Management Review, where CDFW will present an informative update on the MPA Management Program to the Fish and Game Commission. 
Blue Cavern Onshore State Marine
Conservation Area (No-Take).
Photo credit: Van Diggelen\CDFW
To remain informed of updates regarding the MPA Management Program sign-up here.
Also visit CDFW’s archives to read past stories about California’s MPAs through the Exploring California’s MPAs series, MPA News, and MPA Management updates
Ocean Protection Council Updates
On February 27th, 2020 the Ocean Protection Council approved $1,000,000 of funding for the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) to continue marine protected area (MPA) monitoring statewide through 2021.

This program trains volunteer recreational anglers to conduct hook-and-line monitoring of mid-depth rocky reef communities inside and outside MPAs statewide. Statewide data collection through 2021 is critically important to help inform the first decadal management review of California’s MPA network in December 2022. The Ocean Protection Council looks forward to working with this amazing program for the next year and into the future!
Photo Credit: Steve Martarano
Photo Credit: Steve Martarano
MPA Collaborative Network Updates
The health and wellbeing of all MPA Collaborative Network members and partners is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, following CDC recommendations of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all Collaborative Network events are currently postponed until further notice. The MPA Collaborative Network will be using this extra time to find new and creative ways to continue in our mission to empower coastal communities to advance MPA management and encourage ocean stewardship. One way we are engaging digitally with the MPA and ocean community is through the #MPAartchallenge!
#MPAartchallenge drawing by Sasha, age 10
#MPAartchallenge oil painting of a drone image by Nikki Kohls, Park Interpretive Specialist, CA State Parks Sonoma Mendocino Coast District
Sneak peek of resources in the MPA
Collaborative Network Project Library
 Participate in the MPA Collaborative Network's #MPAartchallenge and show us what MPAs mean to you! Create a piece of art showcasing what comes to your mind when you think of marine protected areas. All ages are welcome to participate and all types of art are encouraged.

To participate, post a photo of your creation with #MPAartchallenge. If your page is private, send your post via direct message to @mpacollaborativenetwork or email us at mpacollaborativenetwork@gmail.com. Find more info and featured submissions HERE. You can also find a wealth of educational and interactive marine protected area resources to keep you and your little ones busy in our Project Library. Watch informational videos, print your own bilingual MPA coloring book and Coastal Explorer activity guide, learn about tribal history and MPAs in our K-12 curriculums, and become an MPA Ambassador by completing the online training modules. All this and more available in the Project Library! Please stay safe out there and check our website for updates on how we will be moving forward.
Reef Check California Updates
Reef Check Receives Grant For Kelp Forest Restoration Efforts In Northern California
On Wednesday February 26th, 2020, Reef Check was awarded a $500,000 grant from the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to begin kelp forest restoration efforts in Mendocino County. In collaboration with commercial fishermen and recreational divers, Reef Check aims to remove urchins from targeted locations with the goal of providing opportunities for kelp forest to regrow where they once were abundant.
This project will play a vital role in how resource managers choose to move forward with kelp restoration strategies state-wide, thus helping us to evaluate the costs and benefits of human intervention in a dynamic oceanic environment.

MPA Watch Updates
MPA Watch 2019 Annual Data Reports
Available on the MPA Watch Website
MPA Watch reports provide a snapshot of human use of coastal and marine resources in California. Reports for the period January 1 - December 31, 2019 are now available online for all participating programs. Please visit mpawatch.org/reports to download.

MPA Watch is a network of programs that support healthy oceans through community science by collecting human use data in and around our protected areas. Volunteers use standardized protocols to collect relevant, scientifically rigorous, and broadly accessible data. Data are meant to inform the management, enforcement, and science of California’s marine protected areas, and allow our network of programs and organizations to track how the public uses coastal areas. 

Customized data reports and additional information may be found by contacting any of the regional managers listed on the MPA Watch website.
In Case You Missed It!
Things To Do While Sheltering in Place
Virtual Exploration
MPA Google Tours

Explore California’s Underwater Parks without getting your feet wet through these online tours! The California Google MPA Tours feature detailed descriptions of each of the State and Federal marine protected areas, National Marine Sanctuaries, and National Estuaries, with stunning photos and videos, and links to local “things to do” for your enjoyment and ease of vacation planning. The Google MPA tour is recently completed for the entire state, featuring 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 with breathtaking pictures and videos and links to nearby activities to enjoy these special ocean areas.

National Marine Sanctuaries Virtual Dives 

Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet! These virtual reality voyages use 360-degree images to highlight the amazing habitats, animals, and cultural resources you can find in each national marine sanctuary.

MPA Videos
Interested in learning more about marine protected areas? Check out the videos here:

Films on Plastic:

Patagonia Films:
So many great ones to choose from here .
A few we recommend:

BANFF Films : A selection of incredible adventure films not usually available to the public.

Featuring Surfrider's California staff and chapter activists with a round-up of the week's most pressing threats to the state's ocean, waves and beaches, plus related action alerts and Beachapedia factoids, the podcast provides a quick dive into what you most need to know now about Surfrider's efforts in California.

This podcast aims to give you information, inspiration, and motivation to tackle the challenges our oceans are facing.

For the Kids
PORTS Home Learning Opportunities
Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) program provides FREE live interactive videoconference programs, also known as virtual field trips, to expand learning beyond the classroom walls. K-12 students from California and around the world are connecting with live interpretive rangers and learning academic content standards within the context of California’s dynamic state park system. 

Now you can tune into California State Parks PORTS Home Learning Programs from across California to access our precious natural resources without leaving the comfort of your own home. For up-to-date information on programs and availability follow us @portsprogram on Facebook or visit our PORTS Home Learning Program Website .

2020 Ocean Awareness Contest
The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest invites teens to learn about the climate crisis and its impact on oceans; discover or imagine solutions at local, national, or global scales; and create work that explores hope in action. Details: Submissions accepted in: Visual Art, Film, Music, Poetry, Prose, and Interactive & Multimedia. Open to students ages 11-18 worldwide. Students can work as individuals or as a group/class/club. Hundreds of cash awards available, ranging from $50 to $1,500. Free to enter. Deadline: June 15, 2020. Click here for more information.

2020 Student Art Contest - Science Without Borders Challenge
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is now accepting entries for the Science Without Borders® Challenge! Students can win up to $500 in this international art contest. The theme for this year’s Challenge is “Take Action: Conserve Coral Reefs.” Participating students should use their artistic talents to create a drawing or painting that illustrates what can be done to protect coral reefs. The Science Without Borders® Challenge is open to all students who are 11-19 years old and enrolled in primary or secondary school (or the home-school equivalent). All entries must be received by Monday, April 20, to be eligible to win the 2020 Science Without Borders® Challenge. To learn more about the Science Without Borders Challenge and how to apply, click here.

National Geographic Kids: Games, videos and more! Click here.

Kids Podcast: NOAA and the Octonauts
The "NOAA and the Octonauts," podcast features an episode-by-episode discussion of the children’s TV show The Octonauts, which features a crew of quirky and courageous undersea adventurers. Their mission: to explore the world’s ocean, rescue the creatures who live there, and protect their habitats. This podcast brings together experts from inside and outside of NOAA to help you and the children you care about learn more about the real-life versions of the Octonauts sea creatures and the ocean they call home. Click here to listen!
Other Cool Things
Be a Naturalist from home! Download iNaturalist and start uploading and identifying your backlogged photos of plants and animals! If you don't know what something is, submit it for identification by the iNaturalist community. Click here for more information.

Climate friendly cooking: Click here to see the Climate Science Alliance Resilient Roots Cookbook

Serious Games for Coastal and Marine Conservation, Management, and Adaptation : A compilation of role-playing/simulation games to educate stakeholders, professionals, students, and the general public about aspects of coastal and marine conservation, management, and adaptation.

Live Virtual Concerts: See NPR's updated list here .
Special Notices
Guidelines for Beachgoers from Surfrider CA
California State Parks COVID-19 Updates
As of 3/30, California State Parks announced it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing at all state park units, and if the safety measures implemented thus far are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities. 

State Parks has developed a one-stop resource center to find park safety and closure information, and messaging and graphics from the “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” social media awareness campaign. Please check this webpage regularly , as it will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Dockwalker Virtual Trainings
Become a 2020 Partner Dockwalker by taking a video conference training! Virtual Dockwalker trainings :

Northern CA :
  • Saturday, April 4th from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm
  • Saturday, April 18th from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm
  • Saturday, May 2nd from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm

Southern CA :
  • Saturday, April 25th from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm
  • Saturday, May 9th from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm

Please register to one of the virtual trainings mentioned above by emailing Vivian Matuk at vmatuk@coastal.ca.gov and let us know to which training you want to register for. Please include your name, organization (if applicable), address and phone number.

Visit our website!