January 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you up to date on MPAs!
Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2016 issue of the California Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Newsletter! 
  • Underwater Parks Day Celebrations
  • North Central Coast State of the Region Report
  • Upcoming Events
Celebrate Underwater Parks Day
Celebrate California's marine and coastal treasures with the eighth annual Underwater Parks Day with activities occurring during the two upcoming weekends! Organizations throughout the state participate in this fun event to engage children, residents and visitors in efforts to protect our coast and ocean. Below is a list of participating locations and detailed descriptions of the events.

Event Details in Northern California: 

Ma-le'l Dunes Cooperative Management Area: Exploring Protected Areas on Land & Sea
Date: Saturday, January 9th
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join Friends of the Dunes for a guided walk at the Ma-le'l Dunes Cooperative Management Area. Naturalist Carol Vander Meer, MPA Outreach Coordinator Delia Bense-Kang and a representative from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be discussing the Samoa State Marine Conservation Area just offshore and participants will learn about the benefits of protected areas, both on land and underwater. Meet at BLM's Ma-le'l Dunes South parking area off of Young Lane in Manila. Please reserve your space by calling (707) 444-1397 or emailing info@friendsofthedunes.org. 

Humboldt Bay Tourism Center: Information Night - 205 G St, Eureka, CA
Date: Saturday, January 9th
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy an informative and celebratory night with Northcoast Environmental Center, Surfrider Humboldt, and other local environmental organizations. Learn about MPAs through informal presentations and discover ways to enjoy them! Free food!

Event Details in Central California:

Natural Bridges State Beach : 2531 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

To celebrate Underwater Parks Day, Natural Bridges State Beach will have marine science information tables and kids arts and crafts activities. An Underwater Park Ambassador will be there with an MPA mobile cart full of information and fun giveaways.
Park Admission: $10 per car

Save Our Shores Beach Cleanup: Greyhound Rock County Park
Highway One parking lot, Davenport, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Join Save our Shores as they start the year off with a big Underwater Parks Day Beach Cleanup! Greyhound Rock is one of California's marine protected areas on the north coast of Santa Cruz County. As a State Marine Conservation Area, this cleanup will be removing any trash or debris that could pollute our coastal habitat. Individual and small group volunteers are welcome. Save Our Shores provides all necessary supplies, and encourages volunteers to bring their own reusable buckets, gloves, and water bottles. Cleanup to be held in rain or shine! For more information, contact:  cleanup@saveourshores.org.

Sanctuary Exploration Center: 35 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Come celebrate California's largest Underwater Park:  Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! The Sanctuary Exploration Center across from the Santa Cruz Wharf will be open and FREE from 10am-5pm with special information and activities featuring California's Underwater Parks. For more information contact: exploraitoncenter@noaa.gov.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve : 62 California 1, Carmel, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

On January 16th, Point Lobos will celebrate the importance of marine protected areas with Underwater Parks Day. From 10:00-12:00, divers will set up an exhibit for visitors to touch, feel and learn about some of the spectacular underwater wildlife in the Whalers Cove parking area. An Underwater Park Ambassador will be present with an MPA Mobile Cart filled with fun kids activities and Marine Mammal Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Reef Check, BAUI, and Point Lobos Foundation will all have tables with displays. 
Park Admission: $10 per car.

Highway One, 3-4 miles north of Hearst Castle
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m

Celebrate Underwater Parks Day at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery with an Underwater Parks Ambassador and Friends of the Elephant Seal volunteer learning about the area's spectacular marine mammals and marine protected areas. There will be kids activities and some sweet treats! Admission: Free!

Event Details in Southern California:

Aquarium of the Pacific100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA
Date: Saturday, January 9th
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Learn more about Southern California's network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Guests will be able to learn about the commercial and recreational activities permitted. MPA stories will be told using film, lectures, and interactive exhibits. The event will also feature educational booths and activities in the Great Hall. Admission: $29.95 Adults, $17.95 Children ages 3-11.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center : 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time:10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center and their marine conservation partners for the annual Underwater Parks Day Festival celebrating ocean life in our coastal waters. Experience the hidden magic of marine life through hands on investigations and special activities - Investigate a micro-marine ecosystem, Spy on shore birds with binoculars, Embark on an ocean knowledge trek, Meet live birds of prey, Discover non-native marine plants and animals arriving with the El Niño. Activities are free with admission. For more information contact jhunt@sbnature2.org or call 805-962-2526 ext. 110. Admission: Adults $8.50, Seniors (65+) and Teens (13-17) $7.50, Kids (2-12) $6, Kids under 2 Free, Museum members Free.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium : 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and learn about the newly designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Southern California. There will be speakers, presentations, interactive activities and handouts for visitors. Learn more about MPAs, how MPAs work, and where MPAs are located in Southern California. Admission: Free!

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium: 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Come visit the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for the annual Underwater Parks Day event. Join as they celebrate our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with crafts, interactive activities and a special MPA-themed Story Time and puppet show at 2:00pm! Admission: Kids 12 and under are FREE; all others: $5 per person; groups of 10 or more: $3 per person, regardless of age.

Ocean Institute: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Learn about and explore our local Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area and understand the importance of protected areas such as this. Guided Tidepool hikes, sea urchin dissections and other activities will highlight this amazing environment and animals that live just feet from our door. On-going weekend activities: The Ocean Institute features a number of hands-on activities, presentations, tidepool walks and educational cruises to educate and inspire people of all ages to participate in their community.
Admission: $10.00 Adult (13 yrs+) and Seniors (65+) & Youth (2-12 years): $7.50; Children under 2 are Free. Members are free.

SEA LIFE Aquarium at Legoland California Resort: 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Join SEA LIFE® Aquarium at LEGOLAND® California Resort in celebrating Underwater Parks Day with kid-friendly activities designed to raise awareness of the designated "underwater parks" or Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Guests can participate in craft activities and enjoy the Conservation Expo that teaches families how to care of their local oceans through hands-on exhibits. Families can also gain a better understanding of what an underwater park is during the Aquarium's themed dive show as they get to interact with a diver who shares facts about the special ocean places. This kid-friendly presentation offers a fun and educational twist on underwater parks. Local ocean conservation organizations will be hosting information booths at SEA LIFE throughout the day. All activities for Underwater Parks Day are included in the cost of SEA LIFE Aquarium admission. Admission: Walk up: $22.00, Online: $18.00.
Now Available: North Central Coast State of the Region Report
In 2010, the north central coast became the second region of California to implement a network of 25 MPAs and 6 special closures from Alder Creek near Point Arena in the north to Pigeon Point in the south. Scientific monitoring is essential to evaluate the effects of MPAs and inform ocean management. Monitoring, research, and evaluation support adaptive management of MPAs. This document summarizes findings from the North Central Coast MPA Baseline Program and other monitoring activities in the region, and is a guide to the numerous resources that inform our understanding of the region. Results of baseline monitoring provide a rigorous foundation for science-informed decision making by the California Fish and Game Commission and many other state and federal partners. For more information, visit:  http://oceanspaces.org/nccsotr

Upcoming Events
Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest
Enter the 5th annual Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest beginning on Underwater Parks Day, January 16th, and running until February 6th! Photos can be taken on the beach, underwater, on a kayak or SUP and of any subject you wish. It can be of anything within one of Laguna's Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that interests you. It could include your family and friends enjoying the beach, the tidepools or ocean, the birds or marine life that depend on it, just any part of this special place. Have some fun exploring MPAs and win some great prizes!
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival
January 15th - 18th
1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay, CA

The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival is a yearly eco-tourism event promoting an understanding and appreciation of birds and other wildlife and an awareness of environmental and conservation issues of the Central Coast, while contributing to the well-being of the Morro Bay community.  The event is sponsored by the Morro Coast Audubon Society in collaboration with California State Parks, the Central Coast State Parks Association, and the City of Morro Bay.  A variety of activities are available during the festival including boat rides, kayaking and nature walks. 

MPA Hike in Newport Beach
January 23rd from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join the Office of Natural Resources at the City of Newport Beach on a moderate 1.3 mile low-tide hike through Newport Beach's Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area.  Be sure to wear close-toed shoes and sunscreen, and be prepared to get a little wet!  Hikes are dependent on weather and surf conditions, and participants must be 13 years and older.  

Admission is Free!
Meet at Little Corona Beach at Lifeguard Tower #7, down the hill of Poppy Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

For more information please contact: marineeducation@newportbeachca.gov. 
Whalefest Monterey
January 23rd & 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Old Fishermen's Wharf - Monterey, CA

Come experience the 6th annual Whalefest Monterey at and around Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California! This free, fun, educational and interactive family event for all ages celebrates the migration of the gray whales! The event also benefits many local and national marine organizations that inspire, educate, explore and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Among the highlights will be a symposium with lectures and documentaries related to ocean and marine life conservation, musical performances, and many educational displays by participating organizations.