As a valuable tool for ecosystem protection, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) help replenish marine life populations. In December 2010, a set of MPAs were approved in Southern California, which will take effect sometime in mid-2011. California’s coasts and ocean are public resources that support a variety of human uses.
MPA Watch volunteers will be trained to monitor coastal and marine resource use. Data collected by our volunteers will provide important information to understand how people are using these new MPAs, and to help inform MPA management. Volunteers will conduct human activity monitoring at various locations as they walk along the beach.
Volunteers must be at least 15 years old.
Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Be able to spend 1-2 hours outdoors with some moderate hiking.
No previous experience required but a willingness to learn is advisable. Volunteers will be trained and asked to use basic field technology (binoculars, GPS, digital cameras) and data sheets.
We ask that all volunteers give at least a 6 month commitment of 4 hours a month in the field.
Volunteers must attend trainings (one classroom and one in the field).
Once trained, volunteer monitoring times are flexible but must be coordinated with a partner.