September 2018
A quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date on MPAs!
Welcome to the Fall 2018 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. 
California Coastal Cleanup Day is Coming!

Join the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day!

Saturday, September 15, 9am-12pm

California Coastal Cleanup Day takes place on the third Saturday of each September, along more than 2,000 miles of coastal and inland shoreline. Check out the map to find a cleanup location near you, along with all the information you'll need to volunteer this upcoming September 15th (9 AM to 12 PM). If you are unable to find the site you're looking for please contact your county coordinator.

The event isn't limited to the coastal region- there are cleanups taking place all over California, from the coast to Lake Tahoe and from San Diego to Del Norte County.

In 2017, 66,535 volunteers removed 839,632 lbs pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California's fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!
CMSF News and Updates
MPA Signage Update

Thanks to collaboration from many partners across the state, a new round of marine protected area signage is nearing completion. Over 140 new harbor, interpretive, and regulatory "You are Here" and No-Fishing/No-Collecting signs are currently in the process of installation. These additional signs will fill a large gap in educating coastal visitors about California's network of MPAs. 

Ocean Protection Council Updates
Public Comment Period Open for the Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) invites the public to comment on the Award Guidelines for its Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program. 

About the Program

To address the damaging impacts of once-through cooling on marine habitats, the State Water Resources Control Board established a policy in 2010 requiring power generating facilities to stop using once-through cooling technology. OPC's Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program receives funds from the mitigation payments made by power plants using once-through cooling technology. Funds from this Program will support mitigation projects directed toward increases in marine life associated with the state's marine protected areas (MPAs) in the geographic region of the facilities through the following Program priorities:
  1. Enforcement of MPA regulations statewide
  2. Outreach and education to improve compliance of MPA regulations statewide
  3. Research to understand how existing MPAs may be mitigating for once-through cooling impacts
  4. Restorationthat increases marine life in the geographic region of the facility
OPC will receive up to $5.4 million annually from these mitigation payments to fund to the Program. Funds will decrease as power plants come into compliance with the policy, and the Program is expected to end in 2029 when all power plants are required to be in compliance.

Public Comment

Thank you for taking the time to review the draft Award Guidelines. This draft was developed based on a wide range of stakeholder input. 

The public comment period is open through Friday, September 14, 2018. 
All comments should be submitted by email to Ocean Protection Council Marine Protected Areas Program Manager, Tova Handelman, by 5:00PM on September 14, 2018.

For more information about the Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program, visit the OPC webpage.
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

To stay current on MPA management activities that CDFW and its partners are engaged in, subscribe to CDFW's new MPA Management Program e-news. A list of current and historical MPA articles and blogs can also be found here.

Monitoring and Research

We have received constructive contributions and support on the draft MPA Monitoring Action Plan from a wide variety of stakeholders including a peer review panel. Many contributions focused on socioeconomics and species indicators from public comment, which closed on August 16, 2018. We are addressing your comments and working to update the draft document accordingly. The Fish and Game Commission (Commission) will vote to approve the draft Action Plan at their October 17 meeting, followed by approval from the Ocean Protection Council October 25.

Enforcement and Compliance

Adaptive management is in progress. The Commission voted unanimously at their August 2018 meeting to 1) repeal Rockport Rock Special Closure, 2) adopt proposed boundary changes at Stewarts Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Stewarts Point State Marine Reserve, and 3) allow tribal take by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in four south coast SMCAs: Point Dume, Naples, Kashtayit, and Anacapa. Detailed information about these regulation changes are located on the
Commission's webpage. The amended regulations are anticipated to go into effect January 1, 2019.

If research and monitoring is on your horizon, be advised that CDFW's scientific collecting permit (SCP) program has made regulatory changes to Sections 650 and 703, Title 14, California Code of Regulations. The new application and online submission format will be effective on October 1, 2018. Please continue to use the existing 2018 SCP application forms until September 30, 2018.

The SCP home page serves as the primary online resource for information about the regulatory changes. In addition, a frequently asked questions  document is available to address concerns that existing and prospective permit holders may have about the new regulations and online application portal.
Updates from Other Partners
The Green List Expert Assessment Group for California's Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network Announced

Advancing the effort to add California's MPA network to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, IUCN has selected members of the "Expert Assessment Group for the Green List" (EAGL).

Drawn from a pool of extremely qualified applicants (through an open public call), these 17 individuals represent the voices of key California ocean stakeholders from a diverse array of sectors including: ecology, sociology, economics, and management; outreach and education; ocean business and tourism; California's Tribes and Tribal Governments; commercial and recreational fishermen; citizen scientists; aquaria; and non-governmental organizations.

The IUCN Green List criteria  benchmark good governance, sound design and planning, effective management, and successful conservation outcomes. The EAGL will hold evaluation meetings and site visits to assess how California's MPA network meets IUCN's Green List criteria, and will recommend that the network be added to the Green List if all criteria are met.

To learn more and see who makes up the Expert Assessment group, click here.

Año Nuevo State Park Volunteer Opportunity

Training offered in Fall 2018!

Are you interested in learning and interpreting natural and cultural history of Año Nuevo?  Our three-month training program (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, sharks, general wildlife and more. Additional training is provided on interpretive techniques for educating visitors and logistical skills on working inside the coastal natural preserve. To request an application or for more information our Docent Recruitment Coordinator at 650-879-2032 or email

Upcoming Events
Sept. 13: MPAs and the Health of Our Oceans Discussion
5:00 pm
Aquarium of the Bay- Farallon Room (Pier 39, the Embarcadero at Beach Street, SF)

Join David McGuire (Shark Stewards/Golden Gate MPA Collaborative) in a discussion about MPAs and the heath of our oceans. California's marine protected areas are home to a breathtaking diversity of ocean and estuarine habitats and species. This event will feature a video on MPAs to learn more about what they are, how they work, the resources they protect, and the people on the front lines working to make them a success. Ticket: $15. Includes admission to  Aquarium of the Bay.

Sept. 14, 21, 28: Shark Lagoon Nights at Aquarium of the Pacific
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802)

The public is invited to get up close with the ocean's ultimate predators for free during Shark Lagoon Nights at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Guests will have the opportunity to touch bamboo and epaulette sharks and see large sharks like the sand tiger and zebra sharks at the Shark Lagoon exhibit on select Friday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Guests can touch and learn about sharks, purchase drinks and snacks, and enjoy live music during select Shark Lagoon Nights.   

Sept. 15: Bolinas Lagoon/Kent Island Restoration

Get Into Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and help remove invasive plants on Kent Island and restore Bolinas Lagoon's natural flora and fauna! This frees captured sediment that impacts the flow and function of the Lagoon. 
For more information or to RSVP contact  Kate Bimrose.

Sept. 17: Younger Lagoon Reserve Tours
10:30 a.m. 

This 90-minute, behind-the-scenes hiking tour takes visitors into Younger Lagoon Reserve adjacent to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Part of the University of California Natural Reserve System, Younger Lagoon Reserve contains diverse coastal habitat and is home to birds of prey, migrating sea birds, bobcats, and other wildlife. 
For more information,  click here.

Sept. 14, 21, 28: Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring Program

The Amigos de Bolsa Chica conducts a Citizen Science water quality monitoring program called FLOW (Follow and Learn about the Ocean and Wetlands) every Friday at the Bolsa Chica State Beach Visitor Center on Pacific Coast Hwy. In collaboration with the California Department of Public Health's Phytoplankton Monitoring Program, FLOW Citizen Scientists collect and analyze ocean and wetland water samples to monitor harmful microalgae along the coast of California.  No experience needed, training is ongoing! Meeting time dependent upon the tide, email if you're interested or want more information.

Sept. 22: Annual Toast the Coast Gala and 40th Anniversary Celebration

Hosted at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  For information and tickets visit

Sept. 29: Free Bird Talk & Nature Walk with Amigos de Bolsa Chica
9:00-11:00 a.m 
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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). Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars. Email to reserve a spot.