Join the Marin MPA Watch volunteer team at Agate Beach and become one of our valuable VIPs!
This training will include:
An overview of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
California and Marin MPA Watch Network
The importance of MPAs
The roles, requirements and benefits of the Marin MPA Watch Volunteer Program
After orientation, we will walk the survey route, and practice how to collect and record data using the survey form.
Please wear layers, sunscreen and a hat, and bring:
Reusable water bottle, water and snacks
Your personal calendar to schedule your first two survey dates (volunteers required to conduct 1-2 surveys per month over course of three months)
Additional items: camera, binoculars, and a trash bag if you want to help pick up beach debris
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) conserve biological diversity and protect a variety of marine habitats, communities and ecosystems for their intrinsic value, while allowing for human use of marine resources. California's coast and ocean are among our most treasured resources. The productivity, wildness and beauty found here is central to California's identity, heritage and economy. California MPAs were designed by local stakeholders with guidance and feedback from scientists, managing agencies, experts, policymakers, and the general public, to achieve goals set forth in California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). By protecting sensitive ocean and coastal habitat, marine life flourishes and, in turn, creates a healthier system overall.
MPA Watch is a citizen science program.
MPA Watch staff train volunteers to observe and collect unbiased data on coastal and marine resource use, including collecting valuable data on ocean users and their activities, such as surfing, kayaking, fishing, boating, running, etc.
The Marin MPA Watch is focused on MPA's in Marin County, CA, including around Limantour and Drakes beaches, Drakes Estero, the Point Reyes Headlands and Chimney Rock, Point Resistance, Agate County Beach and Corte Madera Marsh.
Specifically, the Marin MPA Watch volunteers will observe and record both consumptive and non-consumptive offshore and onshore activities in and around MPAs, which will improve our understanding of how people are using these new MPAs.
Data are meant to inform the management, enforcement, and science of California's marine protected areas (MPAs) and allow us to see how human uses are changing as a result of MPA implementation. By involving local communities in this important work, MPA Watch programs inspire and empower stewardship, and educate citizens about California's ocean ecosystems.
Not only do local volunteers learn about their coastal environment and become "citizen scientists" and stewards of the area, but they generate quantities of monitoring data that would not be possible under the current state budget.