June 2019
A quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date on MPAs!
Welcome to the Summer 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. 
World Oceans Day is June 8th!


On World Oceans Day , people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration!

This year's conservation focus: demonstrate leadership in preventing plastic pollution and share solutions that inspire and activate the global community!

There are over 40 events taking place in California, find one in your local area!


Last year on World Oceans Day there were more than 100 Marches for the Ocean (M4O) in 26 nations to stop offshore drilling, plastic pollution, and protect our coasts.  

This year on World Ocean Day there are continuing youth and local led M4O plans including marches, dives, and paddles in New York; New Jersey; Florida; Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Ventura, California; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; also Paris, Cozumel, Paramaribo (Suriname) and elsewhere. 

Go into the streets or onto the water June 8, and d on't forget to 'Wear Blue for the Ocean!' and send your photos, videos and drone footage to  info@marchforocean.org   so it can be re-posted on marchfortheocean.org!

New Products from CMSF
CMSF created waterproof ocean recreation guides to acquaint visitors to the coast, its animal inhabitants and the local protected areas. These guides are excellent for use in ocean recreation businesses, by interpreters and educators, and more!
Guides are available for the following areas:

  • Del Norte
  • Humboldt
  • Mendocino
  • Sonoma
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Cruz
  • Moss Landing
  • Monterey
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara & Channel Islands
  • Los Angeles
  • Catalina
These guides 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. All of the guides are 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.  
CMSF Distributes MPA Toolkits Statewide
Since the new year, CMSF staff have been busy conducting MPA outreach to priority  locations- bait & tackle shops, fishing license retailers, charter companies, ocean recreation businesses, interpretive centers, museums, aquaria and more! 

Over 350 locations have received MPA materials! 
We have visited all coastal counties,  with the exception of Del Norte, Mendocino, and San Diego, which will be completed over the summer. 

Toolkits vary by region and target audience, but include brochures, laminated maps, ocean recreation guides, kids activities, and more. 

Ocean Protection Council Updates
The Ocean Protection Council is excited to continue working with the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation on the MPA Outreach and Education Improvement Project to increase awareness of MPA regulations statewide. This project was one of many MPA related projects that was approved for funding by the Ocean Protection Council on May 23rd, who approved $16.8 million worth of funding in total. Other projects areas include long-term monitoring, restoration, compliance, and additional outreach and monitoring efforts. For more information on the meeting,  follow this link .

Another project approved for funding is the Small Grants Program focused on increasing MPA outreach and education products statewide. Coastal Quest will be administering a competitive call for this grant in the coming year.
We would also like to thank all who attended our successful MPA workshop on May 23rd, especially our various partners who contributed inspiring displays about all the work being done in MPAs. In case you missed the event, a video of the morning presentations and panel can be seen here

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 are below!

Outreach and Education

Are you interested in creating outreach and education materials about California's MPA Network? 

CDFW now has an MPA  Outreach and Education Guide to help ensure consistent and accurate MPA messaging! CDFW approves materials that follow the guide and align with California's MPA Management Program.
Basket Star- Sea Lion Gultch SMR, CDFW

Are you are looking for ideas to support California's MPA Network? 
Check out our special newsletter series featuring each of the MPA Collaborative Network's 14 regional community groups. Starting with the southernmost collaborative, learn about resources and events created by members of the San Diego County MPA Collaborative, and watch for future newsletters about the other MPA Collaboratives! To receive our newsletter, sign up for the mailing list here.

Did you know that CDFW posts a blog series, Exploring California's MPAs, that tells a story about each MPA in the Network? The most recent installment highlights the co-located Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area and State Marine Reserve in northern California. Archived blogs are available   here.

Research and Monitoring Highlight

Investigating Seasonality in Warty Sea Cucumber Populations Below Diver Depths

In 2018, CDFW and Marine Applied Research and Exploration completed a remotely operated vehicle survey of Warty Sea Cucumber (WSC) abundance and distribution at two sites off Anacapa Island. The purpose of this study was to assess whether observed seasonal changes in abundance at shallow depths (<20 meters) also occurs in the deeper, unstudied areas of WSC's depth range (15-60 meters).

Warty Sea Cucumber photo taken at Anacapa Island SMR , CDFW
Preliminary findings of the survey have shown that at Anacapa Island State Marine 
Reserve, abundances at all depths were 3 times greater when compared to an adjacent site where a commercial dive fishery occurs. Additionally, abundances at both sites were 4 times greater in spring surveys than in the fall. Anecdotal reports from commercial divers of a springtime shift in WSC abundance from deep to shallow waters were not observed in our study. However, we observed WSC to be most abundant between 15 and 25 meters in depth during both spring and fall surveys at both locations. 

It is still a mystery where all the WSC go during fall months, but this study indicates that a mass migration to deeper waters is likely not the cause. This information will inform the management of this species by identifying the degree to which deeper areas and MPAs, not accessible to dive harvest, provide protection to WSC populations. Further analysis of the data collected in this study will examine habitat associations and more refined depth and seasonal patterns of abundance.

MPA Collaborative Network Update 
New Products from the Collaboratives!

In June of 2017 the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) announced that they would be conducting a MPA Collaborative Small Grants Program, administered by Coastal Quest. 

All fourteen Collaboratives applied and received approval for grants of $15,000, $5,000 of which was a philanthropic match, commencing projects in early 2018. A handful of Collaboratives pooled their grant funding to work on joint projects. With the guidance of Coastal Quest and OPC staff, the Collaboratives used their funding to create some amazing projects highlighting MPAs.

To view the MPA Collaborative Networks latest newsletter highlighting these projects, click here

MPA Watch Update 
MPA Watch partnered with California State Parks to train over 80 state park interpreters, staff, docents, and volunteers from Santa Cruz,
 Monterey, and San Luis Obispo counties as MPA Watch community science trainers. The statewide MPA Watch coordinator led
hands-on workshops during which state park staff and volunteers learned about the  history and science of MPAs, interpretive techniques to use when speaking with the public, and data collection protocol for the statewide MPA Watch human use community science project. California State Parks will now begin collecting MPA Watch data in numerous MPAs adjacent to state parks throughout California.

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. Visit mpawatch.org for more information on how to volunteer in your area!
People interested in learning more are encouraged to visit mpawatch.org and  follow MPA Watch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Upcoming Events
Snapshot Cal Coast is June 1-16!

Snapshot Cal Coast is an annual California statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity! While the focus is on intertidal zones in California MPAs, we are interested in data from any coastal influenced habitats along the California Coast, including sandy beaches, bays, wetlands, and docks.  

Led by the  California Academy of Sciences  with support from the  MPA Collaborative Network  and many, many other partners, together we are creating a snapshot in time of where species are located along our coast. 

Until June 30,  Save Our Shores  is accepting photographers' best shots of state marine protects areas (MPAs) along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for our Waves and Wildlife photo competition. The top images will be displayed in an exhibit throughout August at the   Sanctuary Exploration Center  of Santa Cruz. We aim to raise awareness and appreciation of our local MPAs by highlighting these locations and the amazing life within them! See submission rules and guidelines here!

Ocean Conservancy's Annual Photo Contest: Now- June 24th!

Do you possess a hidden talent for photography? We want to sea your ocean photos!
There is no cost to enter and it's open to the public, so go ahead and invite your camera-savvy friends and family to join. Afterwards, you and your friends will be able to vote for their favorite photos online. 
This year there are 5 categories: (1) Coastlines and Seascapes, (2) Human Impact, (3) Marine Wildlife, (4) Ocean Aerial, (5) Underwater Wonders.

What are you waiting for? Gather your best shots and submit them to the Ocean Conservancy Photo Contest  today!

June 28th: 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit
Friday, June 28th

Join us in Big Sur as we explore Blue Mindfulness. June 28, 2019 at Esalen. This special Esalen gathering will be the 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit , during which a unique team of internationally recognized experts in neuroscience, psychology, and music will help you deepen into the healing experience of Blue Mind. Shauna Shapiro, Daniel Siegel, and Wallace J. Nichols will lead a multifaceted exploration to share deep research and expertise in the topics of awe, wonder, compassion, empathy, mindfulness, meditation, waters, and oceans (not to mention sea turtles). Together we will learn the science of Blue Mind, as well as mindfulness meditations that help us connect with water and strengthen resilience, compassion, wisdom, and joy. Join us.

24th Samoa Sand Sculpture Festival

Saturday, June 29th

The Sand Sculpture Festival  is back and will continue to be a fun family event for all ages! Come out and do something creative in the sand, or just enjoy the beach and the spectacle. This year the festival will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the northern end of the Samoa Drag Strip. For more information, contact   info@friendsofthedunes.org

Save the Date- MPA Collaborative Education and Outreach Forum 
August 5th-6th
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove

Join us for an engaging, statewide forum focused on utilizing new education and outreach products. Open to the public. More details coming soon. Contact calla@mpacollaborative.org for questions or input for the agenda.

Volunteer Opportunities 
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's Summer Kick-Off Festival
Volunteers Needed June 22.

Help celebrate the arrival of summer at the Santa Cruz Museum of History by volunteering at the Summer Kickoff Festival. We have a variety of fun volunteer opportunities at this family friendly outdoor event, including face painting, tide-pool ambassador, and craft leaders. Shift times are 10:45-1:15 or 12:45-3:15. Email volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org with questions or to sign up! 1305 East Cliff Dr.

Apply by Saturday, August 31 for the Fall 2019 training!

Are you interested in learning and interpreting natural and cultural history of Año Nuevo?

This three-month training program that begins at the end of September (most Sundays in the fall) is one of the most comprehensive within California State Parks. We bring in resident experts to teach classes on a variety of subjects including elephant seals, marine mammals, park history, general wildlife, marine protected areas, and more. Additional training is provided on interpretive techniques for educating visitors and logistical skills on working and leading tours inside the coastal natural preserve. 

To request an application or for more information, contact our docent recruitment coordinator at (650) 879-2032 or email  anovolcoordinator@parks.ca.gov Training made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.