January 2020 
Welcome to January 2020 issue of the California Marine Protected Area
(MPA) Education and Outreach Newsletter! 
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and your new year is off to a great start.

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. 
California Underwater Parks Day
During the month of January, many locations across the state will be celebrating our network of marine protected areas with special events for the entire family to enjoy. Find an event happening near you below!
Saturday, September 18, 2019
Santa Barbara SEA Center
10:00 am–3:00 pm

Underwater Parks Day is an annual festival celebrating marine protected areas: the underwater parks that preserve the biodiversity and abundance of ocean life.
Find out why underwater parks matter as you participate in ocean-themed activities and meet local experts in ocean conservation. Go on a scavenger hunt around the Sea Center and discover animals with unthinkable hidden talents. Learn why some sharks burp and what a Garibaldi’s favorite hobby is. You’ll even practice eating food the way a sea star does. Free admission!

For more information visit this site or contact Sea Center Programs Coordinator Tristin Mentry at 805-962-2526 ext. 103 or  tmentry@sbnature2.org .

Sponsored in part by the Associated Students Coastal Fund at UC Santa Barbara and NSF Grant OCE-1851194, EF-1921367 1921367.

Save Our Shores Beach Cleanup at Moran Lake Beach!
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Please meet us at the seating area across from the parking lot. We recommend that all volunteers dress in layers, wear sun protection, and bring a filled reusable water bottle. Save Our Shores encourages volunteers to avoid single-use plastics at our cleanups. Learn more about our current  campaigns  to reduce plastic pollution.
Volunteers under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by an adult. We STRONGLY recommend closed-toed shoes at all Save Our Shores cleanups. Restrooms and drinking fountains are available onsite. Parking is limited, so please plan accordingly. No RSVPs are necessary, but you can print and complete our  waiver  beforehand to save time. If you have additional questions, please contact us at alejandro@saveourshores.org.This event held in partnership with the County of Santa Cruz.

Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz
January 18, 2020

Join CSU Monterey Bay Marine Science program and take an underwater virtual reality dive at amazing locations within CA underwater parks! Explore Kelp Forests, get up close with sea lions, and dive among schools of fish! This activity is free and suitable for all ages 6+.
Funding Opportunity
2020 MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program
Proposals due on January 27, 2020 at 5:00pm PT
The Ocean Protection Council is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for projects focused on outreach and education to improve compliance with marine protected area (MPA) regulations in California: 2020 Marine Protected Area (MPA) Outreach and Education Small Grants Program

The MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program, funded by the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) through the Once-Through Cooling (OTC) Interim Mitigation Program and administered by Coastal Quest, is a competitive grant program providing support for projects focused on outreach and education to improve compliance with MPA regulations statewide. Applicants may submit proposals for $25,000 - $100,000. A minimum total of $750,000 will be distributed under the MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program’s request for proposals (RFP).

This announcement invites the submission of proposals for projects that:
  • Increase outreach and education to improve compliance with MPA regulations locally, regionally, and/or statewide;
  • Can have significant value for the state, such as developing replicable methods and increasing local capacity through project implementation;
  • Impact geographic scales of 1) statewide and/or 2) from San Diego to Big Sur (near Lucia), including waters around the Channel Islands. A small amount of funds provided by matching philanthropic donors will be available for projects north of Big Sur (near Lucia), with priority given to underserved communities; 
  • Show relevance with the OTC Program’s award guidelines and other key resources such as the California MPA Education and Outreach Needs Assessment, the California MPA Network Outreach and Education Guide, the MPA Statewide Leadership Team Work Plan; and 
  • Demonstrate a lasting impact on communities targeted through these projects.

CA Marine Sanctuary Foundation Updates
Social Media Survey
We would like to invite all anglers, boaters, divers, beach-goers, naturalists, educators, and ocean lovers to participate. Please answer all survey questions to the best of your ability. The results from this survey will be used to better guide future social media content creation. Please feel free to share!
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 . In 2019, CDFW and partners continued to
make strides working to meet the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) ,
with highlights including long-term monitoring and international recognition.
Long-term rocky intertidal monitoring at Scott Creek within Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area.
Photo credit: Shen\CDFW 
Long-term MPA Monitoring
Following the guidance in the MPA Monitoring Action Plan , seven long-term MPA monitoring projects  were launched in May.

The awards support research and analysis of marine ecosystems, oceanographic conditions, and human uses. A combined total of 24 universities, agencies and institutions are involved in this long-term monitoring investment.
International Collaboration
The MPA Management Program continues to receive international recognition and build global connections.

  • In October, the Northern Channel Islands MPAs received a Blue Park Award from the Marine Conservation Institute at the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, Norway in recognition of their science-based design and strong protection of marine ecosystems and biodiversity. The MPAs around the Northern Channel Islands are some of the oldest in California’s statewide network.
  • Continuing from work that began in 2018, a diverse group of Californians, known as the Expert Assessment Group for the Green List, shared their examination and assessment of how California’s MPA Network aligns with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Green List program. This is a multi-year evaluation and designation process anticipated to completed by 2023.
  • CDFW provided MPA management guidance to delegations visiting from Indonesia and Chile in February and October, respectively. Both delegations aimed to gain insight and advice from California on how to manage and govern MPAs once implemented.
Looking forward, CDFW and its partners continue to work towards achieving the goals and requirements of the MLPA through the MPA Management Program. Significant attention is now focused on preparing for the decadal management review of the MPA Network in 2022. The review will focus on each of the four core components of the MPA Management Program and the progress made towards meeting the goals of the MLPA.

To remain informed of updates regarding 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.

Blue Cavern Onshore State Marine
Conservation Area (No-Take).
Photo credit: Van Diggelen\CDFW
MPA Collaborative Network Updates
The MPA Collaborative Network is kicking off 2020 with a multi-year Compliance Initiative funded by the Ocean Protection Council to increase compliance with MPA rules through a series of community compliance workshops, enforcement trainings, and outreach to district attorneys and court officers in each coastal county. The first MPA Compliance Priorities Workshop will be held in San Diego on January 29th followed by an MPA Training for Officers and Allied Agencies on February 26th. If you’re in San Diego, please register to attend, otherwise, we’ll be coming to a county near you soon.

The Kashia Pomo Tribal Traditions in the MPA video created by the Sonoma MPA Collaborative and the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians has been chosen as an official selection for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival , the largest environmental film fest in the country!

Additionally, every MPA Collaborative now has Trident mini-ROVs available for use by its members. Contact your local Collaborative’s Co-Chairs to learn how you can utilize this ocean exploration technology. 
To keep up with all things MPA CN, be sure to check out our  website  and sign up for our   quarterly newsletter . If you have an event you'd like to share with the Network, please email details to nicole@mpacollaborative.org
Over 50 officers from across Orange County attended this pilot MPA Enforcement Training funded by CalEPA and Orange County Coastkeeper on December 11, 2019. Photo Credit: Calla Allison
ROV Photo Caption: Collaborative Network members learn how to use a Trident mini-ROV at Lovers Point Park in Monterey. Photo Credit: Calla Allison
Reef Check California Updates
For many Reef Check divers, experiencing an Underwater Park is the paramount of California diving- the undisturbed glory of protected waters, flora and fauna. 

From the Oregon Border to San Diego, Reef Check divers annually monitor over 100 locations inside and outside of California's marine protected areas (MPAs) to better understand the role these underwater parks play in protecting our nearshore ocean environment.

We work with marine managers, researchers and the public to provide the scientific data needed to make informed, science-based decisions for the sustainable management and conservation of California's ocean environment.   

Photo by Kate Vylet
Photo Credit: Kate Vylet
MPA Watch Updates
MPA Watch Year in Review

The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch Team would like to thank the over 250 volunteers from throughout California that collected 3,723 MPA Watch human use surveys in 2019!

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. Our team of volunteers collectively walked thousands of miles along California beaches from Del Norte County to San Diego County to collect data on how people are using our coast and ocean. The data are currently being compiled into reports that will be submitted to enforcement agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), will be compiled into a report for the 2022 management review of MPAs, and will soon be available on our website!

MPA Watch is managed by local organizations in each coastal county in California.
Please visit mpawatch.org to see how you can get involved or to see our data reports.
Snapshot Cal Coast
We are just about six months away from Snapshot Cal Coast 2020! This year will mark our 5th year!

The dates this year will be June 1st-June 16th 2020. We wanted to give everyone a couple of weekends to hold events and time to explore coastal habitats that are not as tide dependent.
For those of you new to Snapshot Cal Coast, it is an annual California statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity by getting people out along our coast over two weeks every summer to document plants, animals, and seaweeds using iNaturalist. Anyone can participate anywhere on the coast. Led by the California Academy of Sciences and the California Ocean Protection Council with support from the MPA Collaborative Network, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other many other awesome partners, together we create a snapshot in time of where species are located along our coast.

In 2020, we are especially interested in adding more locations, new partners, so please help spread the word.

Whether it is your 5th-time organizing or your first, let us know your plans by filling out this form . Remember for Snapshot Cal Coast you can organize events or just grab a few colleagues or friends and head to the beach! The goals are to connect people to their coastal biodiversity, build community, and make observations from as many places along the coast as possible.

One of our goals this year is to get teams of observers out to every coastal MPA, to get folks to make observations in some areas of the coast that are a bit more remote, and of course to add new partners. Soon, I will send out a list of MPAs and other areas that could really use some more observers and data, and a preview of the tool we are building to visualize all of the Snapshot data! So be on the lookout.

You can see all of the observations we made last year here .
And the observations from all years here .
In Case You Missed It!
Guided Elephant Seal Walks at Año Nuevo State Park
Now through March 31, 2020

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the winter months, male elephant seals arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups. Bring warm clothes, sturdy shoes, and rain gear. No umbrellas, strollers, or pets.

Accessible Equal Access Tours available on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays with reservation. Tickets are $7 per person plus $3.99 reservation fee. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For reservations, call ReserveCalifornia at 1 (800) 444-4445. For more information, call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227, or visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo . Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.
10th Annual Whalefest Monterey
Jan 25 - Jan 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Don’t miss it! Monterey’s Old Fisherman's Wharf Association presents the 10th Annual Whalefest Monterey™!

This free, fun and educational interactive family event for all ages celebrates the biodiversity of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and much more! The event, which features a 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and dozens of exhibit booths, benefits many local and national marine organizations that educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Enlightening interactive exhibits at the upcoming 10th Annual Whalefest Monterey will be located along the Wharf, Causeway, Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park and the Monterey Conference Center. There will be dozens of marine related exhibits by numerous local organizations!

Help Document California King Tides
February 8th & 9th

The California King Tides Project helps people visualize how sea level rise will impact their lives. Help document "King Tides," the highest high tides of today, by taking and sharing photos   of the shoreline. King Tides images offer a living record of the changes to our coast and a glimpse of what our daily tides may look like in the future as a result of sea level rise.  Find out when and how high King Tides will be near you.

Anyone with a camera can participate in the Project by taking and uploading photos of king tides. Closer to the king tides dates, you'll find a form on this page  for easily uploading photos that will be displayed on a King Tides Story Map. You'll also be able to download an app for uploading your photos if you prefer to do it that way. 
Take A Hike at Montara State Beach
Saturday, February 8 at 10am

Join us for an easy 2-mile hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail. Discover ocean views, coastal plants, wildlife, and historic sites. Bring water and good walking shoes and dress for the weather. Meet at Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 just south of the Devil’s Slide. Free event. For more information, call (650) 726-8814. Event made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

Migration Festival @ Natural Bridges State Beach
Saturday, February 8 from 11am to 4pm

Fly, swim, waddle, walk, bike, or drive as you migrate to Natural Bridges State Beach for a full day of activities that celebrate the migration of whales, butterflies, birds, and the many creatures that travel. The park will host migratory animal talks, active kids’ games, crafts, skits, live music by the nature-loving 5Ms Band, educational booths and displays, along with the now-famous free habitat-cake served at the end of the event. You can purchase a picnic at the park or bring your own. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 423-4609. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

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