Citizen Beachwalkers Unite!

MPA Watch at Point Dume, Malibu

It’s a tough job to stroll along two of the most remarkable beach areas in California, but someone’s got to do it. Why not you?

On July 24 and 28, Heal the Bay is training volunteers to help monitor marine protected areas (MPAs) in Malibu and Palos Verdes. Volunteers collect observational data on coastal uses in MPAs; data which is then used by the California Department of Fish & Game to help with management and compliance. Essentially we want to find out how people are using this newly-established statewide network of MPAs.

“Our volunteer citizen scientists come from varied backgrounds – from social workers to students – but all our volunteers have one thing in common: a passion for the sea,” says Dana Roeber Murray, Heal the Bay’s coastal scientist. Dana started the MPA Watch program in early 2011 to train local citizens on MPA monitoring and has trained over 70 volunteers to date.

“It took years of collaboration with scientists, fishermen, government, and other non-profits to see these protected areas enacted,” Dana says. “We worked hard up and down the state to make it happen. So it’s been very gratifying to see the public embracing MPAs and volunteering their time to help monitor their effectiveness.”

MPA Watch volunteers commit to attending one classroom and one field training to become citizen scientists, then go on to survey the coast at least four times a month. For more information, check out our MPA Watch FAQs or contact contact Dana. 

Trainings are only offered a few times a year, so reserve your spot and sign up now.