Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MPA Watch, A Statewide Program That Collects Data on Human Uses of Marine Resources, Launches New Website, Social Media Sites

MPA Watch, a network of programs that collect human-use data in marine protected areas in order to keep our oceans clean and healthy, has launched a new, revamped website and social media pages.

San Diego, CA, February 20, 2019 — MPA Watch, a network of programs that collect human-use data in marine protected areas in order to keep our oceans clean and healthy, has launched a new, revamped website and social media pages.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are marine or estuarine waters set aside primarily to protect or conserve marine life and its associated habitat. Just as parks on land protect special lands and wildlife from overdevelopment and poaching, these ocean parks preserve California's stunning marine ecosystems for future generations to observe and enjoy.

MPA Watch is a community science program that trains volunteers to observe and collect data on human uses of coastal and marine resources both inside and outside of marine protected areas (MPAs). Volunteers use standardized methods to collect data.

The data collected are used to help the management, enforcement, and science of California's marine protected areas, and allows MPA Watch’s network of programs and organizations to track how the public uses coastal areas.

By involving local communities in this collection of data, MPA Watch programs inspire and empower stewardship, and educate the public about California’s ocean ecosystems.

People interested in learning more are encouraged to follow MPA Watch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:




MPA Watch volunteers observe California's beaches and bluffs inside and outside MPAs, recording all offshore and onshore coastal activities from recreational activities such as swimming and surfing to commercial activities such as fishing. Volunteers are trained to recognize different types of activities, using binoculars to view activities offshore, and to record their observations on data sheets.

Volunteers record consumptive activities such as commercial fishing, shore fishing, and clamming, and non-consumptive activities such as swimming, SCUBA diving, and tide pooling.

All data collected by volunteers undergo rigorous quality assurance and quality control protocols by coordinating organizations before being accepted and shared with users such as state coastal managers and environmental researchers.

Data from community science projects like MPA Watch complements data collected by other monitoring groups, resource managers, scientists and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Ecological, economic, and social factors are just a few types of data that will be collected to provide a comprehensive picture on how the MPAs are functioning. This data will also help us to understand where there may be a need for enhanced education and outreach, signage, and law enforcement. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is the agency charged with management and enforcement of MPA regulations.

You can help support MPAs by joining a MPA Watch program as a volunteer. Local volunteers have submitted more than 22,000 surveys to date. The groups of volunteer organizations below monitors the use of coastal and ocean MPAs, providing a valuable look at how people are using these conservation areas.

Heal the Bay - Los Angeles County

Grace Young,

Los Angeles Waterkeeper - Los Angeles County
Michael Quill,

Orange County Coastkeeper - Orange County
Ray Hiemstra,

West Marin Environmental Action Committee - Marin County
Morgan Patton,

California Academy of Sciences

Rebecca Johnson,

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper - Santa Barbara County
Penny Owens,

WILDCOAST - San Diego County
Angela Kemsley,

Greater Farallones Association - San Francisco County
Kirsten Lindquist,

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History - Monterey County

Erika Delemarre,

Eagle Eyes of False Klamath Cove - Del Norte County

Ruthie Maloney,

John Corbett,

Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, Del Norte County

Rosa Laucci,

Outdoor Schools

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE)

Kat Montgomery,

For more information on volunteering for MPA Watch, go to or email To access various resources, go the MPA Watch Resources page at

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455

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