Showing posts with label marine protected areas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marine protected areas. Show all posts

April 4, 2013

Central Coast Marine Reserves, Just 5 Years Old and Doing Great!

In the last week of February, Save Our Shores Executive Director, Laura Kasa, and Program Manager, Brad Hunt attended the State of the California Central Coast Symposium along with state agencies, research institutions, marine scientists, non-profit environmental organizations, and others in Monterey, California to share the work from the past five years since the Central Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) went into effect.  Learn about MPAs on our website here.

Over the two and a half day Symposium, presentations were given on baseline monitoring, building relationships between science and management, monitoring human use and impacts,  enforcement and governance, community engagement, public outreach and awareness, and preliminary results of fishery population changes.

Save Our Shores was invited to prepare a poster (see below) on our outreach campaign for Central Coast MPAs.  We presented on our boater outreach through our Dockwalker program as well as our outreach materials to help inform the general public. People took a lot of interest in our outreach materials and methods.  We even got several request to help inform other regions and states with their outreach efforts, yay for spreading the word about MPAs!

We also premiered our new video Protecting Our Coast: Marine Protected Areas, produced by Left Coast Digital, to increases awareness about the value and benefit of MPAs.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Protecting Our Coast: Marine Protected Areas from Save Our Shores on Vimeo.

Scientists presenting on the research and monitoring of the Central Coast MPAs expressed optimism as some very important species, such as rockfish, have been increasing in abundance inside of these MPAs.  Central Coast MPAs have only been in place for 5 years but in the highly complicated habitats of the Central Coast with long lived species, significant changes may not be seen for a decade.

Ongoing MPA monitoring will provide us with more information about species and ecosystem changes and the impacts that human activities are having on our ocean over time and how MPAs are affecting them. For more information about the symposium and the results of the scientific reasearch and other efforts, check out and spread the word about Marine Protected Areas!

For MPAs to truly have a chance to work as intended, compliance with the regulations has to occur and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Wardens are on task to see that they are successful. MPA education and outreach is a critical component to encourage compliance but also community support for MPAs and reporting of violations will ensures the future success of MPAs. Save Our Shores will continue to do our part engaging and educating the public about the value and benefit our network of MPAs will provide for California.

Here is a video of the Honorable Fred Keeley, past SOS Board Member and the author of the Marine Life Protection Act which lead to the induction of Marine Protected Areas in California, giving the welcome address at the Symposium.

October 17, 2012

MPA Creature Feature: Spiny Lobsters

From our friends at the California Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach branch of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation:

Creature Feature: Spiny Lobster

The California spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus, is common from Point Conception to Baja California, Mexico. California spiny lobsters play an important role in the ecosystem not the least of which is limiting sea urchin abundance and subsequently allowing kelp forests to thrive in southern California.

Hunting of California spiny lobster dates back to the late 1800's. This year the recreational and commercial fishing seasons began on September 29th and October 3rd respectively. Over time, as the largest individuals have been preferentially targeted by these fisheries, the average size and life span of the lobsters has been reduced, threatening the balance of entire ecosystems.

Marine protected areas in southern California may help to restore this species by protecting important juvenile nursery habitats and allowing adults to grow larger and produce more young. In a scientific study in California's Channel Islands, where marine protected areas have been in place for 10 years, Kay et al. (2012) compared lobster catches in marine reserves to non-reserve sites. The study found that lobsters were more abundant and larger in the marine protected areas, with an average of 5.49 more legal-sized lobsters caught and subsequently released per trap inside the reserves.

In other research, that is part of the South Coast MPA Baseline Program, the Lobster Monitoring Project, scientists are attempting to understand how the new regulations associated with the MPAs may affect the lobster's ecology. This program tags lobsters to quantify their baseline levels and monitor short term changes in their abundance, size structure, habitat use, and movement patterns inside and outside of south coast marine protected areas. We hope this research and the California spiny lobster will prove to be an early success story of the network of marine protected areas in California. Find out more...

Learn more about these awesome ocean creatures with these cool facts!

Stay up to date about Marine Protected Areas at

September 17, 2012

Nearly 3,500 Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties Prevent Almost 17,000 lbs. of Pollution from Trashing our Sanctuary!

We love our volunteers. 

In just three hours, at over 70 cleanup sites throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, 3,491 volunteers took ocean conservation into their own hands by removing 16,827 pounds of debris in an area spanning from Wadell Creek to the Big Sur coast. See our photo album at
In Santa Cruz County, 2,354 volunteers spread across 76 miles of beach, river, lake, creek and slough to remove 9,947 pounds of pollution and debris in just three hours.

In Monterey County, 1,137 volunteers spread across 81 miles of beach, river, lake, creek and slough to remove 6,879 pounds of pollution and debris in just three hours.

The top five cleanup sites with the most poundage removed were, in order:
  1. Elkhorn Slough with 2,020 pounds
  2. Upper Carr Lake with 1,960 pounds
  3. San Lorenzo River at the Covered Bridge with1,664 pounds
  4. Lompico Creek with 1,425 pounds
  5. San Lorenzo River at the Tannery with 860 pounds

*The cleanup sites with the most trash removed, listed above, are all inland or river sites. We continue to see the highest levels of trash and debris at these inland and river sites.

Total pounds of trash removed in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties combined: 13,877
Total pounds of recyclables removed in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties combined: 2,950

See our photo album at
Over 1,000 volunteers brought their own reusable buckets, bags, gloves, and water bottles to help lower the carbon footprint of Annual Coastal Cleanup Day, as part of the Bring Your Own campaign. 

Save Our Shores conducts reoccurring monthly cleanups in Santa Cruz County on the 3rd Saturday of each month, as well as in Monterey County on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Volunteers and Site Captains, specifically in south Santa Cruz County due to the way ocean currents typically deposit debris, were looking out for tsunami debris from Japan. We will have detailed information once our cleanup data is crunched.

April 13, 2010

Oceans Day In Sacramento!

It was an interesting day on Capitol Hill in Sacramento last Tuesday for the 3rd annual Ocean Day. I teamed up with Paul Hobi from The Ocean Conservancy and Francesca Koe from NRDC to talk to legislators about the California Marine Protected Areas and the bill AB 1998, the state-wide plastic bag ban.
This is one of our meetings with Aracely Campa, a staffer for Assemblymember Anna Caballero. She was really interested in the outreach we were doing for children around the Monterey Bay Area.This was after our great meeting with Stephone Paige, a staff member for Senator Abel Maldonado, he was really shocked to hear about the Great Pacific Gyre and really wanted to keep our sample, I promised I would send him one soon.

Then we met with Julia Brownley, the assemblywoman who authored AB 1998, the state-wide plastic bag ban, we had a great conversation and she was very happy we were in full support of her bill and telling people about it all day.
After our 8 meetings, we were off to the sustainable seafood reception at the Sutter Club. The spread was amazing, since I don't normally eat fish I was a little hesitant until I saw all of the different sustainable options. Tataki Sushi Bar was there, see SOS review of this awesome restaurant here.There were also some delicious oysters from Hog Island that were harvested that morning! So fresh and so yummy!It was a great day all around and we can't wait to be involved again next year!

April 5, 2010

Talking to legislators for Oceans Day tomorrow...MPAs now!

Save Our Shores is going to Oceans Day in Sacramento tomorrow to talk to legislators about Marine Protected Areas and a state-wide plastic bag ban. Here is a link for last year's Oceans Day events. Hopefully we can talk to legislators from Southern and Northern California to get there MPAs approved and put into effect.

My inspiration for tomorrow? Sylvia Earle, one of the most amazing oceanographers of our time and a huge advocate for marine protected areas. This is her TED talk about her wish for more MPAs worldwide, such an amazing inspiring talk, hope you enjoy.

This is a quote from Sylvia Earle's book The World is Blue that I will be carrying with me tomorrow when I talk to law makers about how important these are to the future of the ocean and the future of mankind:

Children today and the children of tomorrow can walk through redwood forests little changed in hundreds of years except for the fact that the trees are taller and have greater girth. They can peer over the rim of the Grand Canyon and not see neon lights below, and can view the geysers and boiling springs of Yellowstone in the presence of buffalo. Nearly 400 places of natural, historic, and cultural significance are now within the U.S. National Park Service, and globally, thousands of other areas making up about 13 percent of the land have been designated for care. Fourteen national marine sanctuaries and a number of national marine monuments now embrace more than 881,000 square kilometers (340,000 square miles) of ocean in U.S. waters, and globally nearly 5,000 marine protected areas have been designated. It sounds like a lot but the total area of ocean covered is a fraction of 1 percent. That means, of course, that more than 99 percent is open for uses that are not entirely benign.