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The MPA Collaborative Network Quarterly Bulletin brings you California MPA news from local MPA Collaboratives, organizations working across the state in MPAs, and the MPA Management Program.

Spring 2020
Volume 5, Issue 1

The health and wellbeing of all MPA Collaborative Network members and partners is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, following CDC recommendations of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all Collaborative Network events are currently postponed until further notice. The MPA Collaborative Network will be using this extra time to find new and creative ways to continue in our mission to empower coastal communities to advance MPA management and encourage ocean stewardship. We will be working to bring our amazing ocean community together virtually, leveraging the collective power and resources of the Network to support each other in these uncertain times and make the most out of a difficult situation. Please stay safe and check our website for updates.

In This Issue:

Shelter in place and share your resources

The MPA Collaborative Network wants to share your resources, products, and programs with our Statewide Network. In a time when everyone is sheltering at home, schools are closed, public events are canceled, and you have to maintain at least six feet of distance from other human beings, the world is forced to turn to the virtual realm to connect, learn and play (virtual happy hour anyone?). We know our collaborative members and partners have a plethora of previously developed educational resources and newly developed distance learning programs and we want to help get the word out!

Use the green button below to add your marine protected area (MPA), ocean, and coastal related resources to our Google Sheet database. We will use this database to populate our new blog post highlighting all the amazing things you and your family can do while staying home and saving lives. See what we have so far at the blue button below! 

We also recognize that many people may not have access to the technology needed to utilize these resources. Do you have an idea for reaching underserved and disconnected communities during these digital times? Let us know at
Share Your Resources
Find New Resources

MPA Collaborative Network hires new South Coast Specialist

Welcome, Aubrie Fowler! As the new South Coast Specialist for the MPA Collaborative Network, Aubrie will provide support to the five South Coast collaboratives and assist Director, Calla Allison, with MPA enforcement tracking. You can reach her at
Continue reading to learn more about Aubrie...
#MPAartchallenge - What do marine protected areas mean to you?

Participate in the MPA Collaborative Network’s #MPAartchallenge and show us what MPAs mean to you! Create a piece of art showcasing what comes to your mind when you think of marine protected areas. All ages are welcome to participate and all types of art are encouraged. Continue reading to learn how to participate and see featured submissions... 

(Photo of #mpaartchallenge creation by Monty, age 8)
University of Michigan graduate students team up with the MPA Collaborative Network

The University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is teaming up with the MPA Collaborative Network! Under the guidance of Project Advisor (and MLPA expert) Steven L. Yaffee, Masters of Science Program students Kimberly Guo, Julie Hassen, Celina Horbat, Kathryn Maloney, Gwyndolyn Sofka, and Dani Triebwasser will be exploring impacts, successes, and challenges faced by the Network and the fourteen MPA collaboratives as they work to advance MPA management and encourage ocean stewardship. Continue reading about this exciting partnership...
Celebrate marine protected areas with MPA Monday
Have you contributed to #MPAMonday yet? MPA Collaborative Network members and partners post on social media each Monday highlighting California marine protected areas (MPAs) with information on regulations, allowed activities, wildlife, habitat, and more. Post your photos with #MPAMonday to help increase MPA awareness.
MPA Watch 2019 annual data reports available on the MPA Watch website

MPA Watch reports provide a snapshot of human use of coastal and marine resources in California. Reports for the period January 1 - December 31, 2019 are now available online for all participating programs. Continue reading about MPA Watch...

Please visit to download.
SUMMER Snapshot Cal Coast: June 1-16, 2020
Snapshot Cal Coast is an annual statewide effort to document California’s coastal biodiversity over two weeks every summer. SUMMER Snapshot Cal Coast 2020 will be June 1st-16th! This summer, due to the Coronavirus, our summer Snapshot Cal Coast will be different than in years past. From June 1st-16th, we will hold a 'physically distant' Snapshot Cal Coast. Please only go to beaches on your own or with your families and make observations as long as you are following local laws and respecting beach closures.  The Cal Academy will provide digital and online resources, including species to look for and tips on how to look for different species. We will also provide a list of beaches and places we most need data from! Stay tuned! We are planning to the more traditional Snapshot Cal Coast November 28th-December 16th. Continue reading to learn more about Snapshot and how you can get involved...
California Marine Sanctuary Foundation wants your input on a variety of MPA projects
CMSF would like to work with you, the local pros! Reach out to to discuss and provide input on the projects below. Continue reading here for more information on these projects and ways to get involved...
  • 2020 Outreach Coming to Your Area - Locations, Materials, Learn More
  • Upcoming Webinar on Social Media Best Practices - May 14th, 10-11 am. Register here.
  • Sign Locations - Looking for Suggestions
  • PowerPoint Trainings for Each Coastal County - Looking for Local Content
MPA Outreach and PORTS Home Learning Programs

In March, the California State Parks' MPA Outreach and Education team began offering all of their MPA outreach through PORTS Home Learning Programs along with livestreams and content posted on their social media channels. The California State Parks' MPA Team is excited to offer six hours of K-12 MPA programming each Monday in celebration of #MPAMonday. Continue reading about this exciting new MPA programming...

MPA Management Program Updates

What is the MPA Management Program?

Outreach and Education

CDFW Marine Management News continues series highlighting MPA Collaboratives
Recent updates to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) Marine Management News Blog featured the Monterey MPA Collaborative and the Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC). These articles are part of an ongoing series featuring each of the California MPA Collaboratives in the MPA Collaborative Network. Get to know the collaboratives of Orange, Monterey, San Mateo, and San Diego County at the links below!
For all CDFW MPA News regarding MPA Collaboratives, outreach events, MPA research and more... click here. 

Research and Monitoring

MPA long-term MPA monitoring project updates

California Sea Grant recently provided updates on two of seven ongoing long-term MPA monitoring projects. Each project is a statewide coordinated research effort that focuses on one ecosystem type and will involve researchers from multiple universities. The projects are funded by the California Ocean Protection Council and the awards are administered by CA Sea Grant. Read the project updates at the links below.

Policy and Permitting

The Ocean Protection Council approves a bold plan to protect California's Coast and Oceans

On February 26, the Ocean Protection Council approved its Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean for 2020-2025. The plan establishes an ambitious collective vision for protecting the intrinsic, cultural, ecological and economic benefits provided by California’s coast and ocean and identifies objectives, targets and actions in four key areas: climate, equity, biodiversity and the blue economy. Actions address issues ranging from sea-level rise and ocean acidification to universal coastal access, offshore wind energy, aquaculture, whale entanglement, plastic pollution, wetlands, beaches and fisheries.
The California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) is funded through 2021

On February 26, the Ocean Protection Council approved $1,000,000 in funds to continue the operation of the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) through 2021. CCRFP is a diverse partnership of volunteer fishermen, boat captains, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and charter companies interested in promoting sustainable fisheries. Continue reading... 

Interested in becoming a volunteer angler? Learn more...

Enforcement and Compliance

MPA Collaborative Network Compliance Initiative kicks off in San Diego

In January and February of this year, the MPA Collaborative Network, the San Diego County MPA Collaborative, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife collaboratively hosted a community MPA Compliance Priorities Workshop and Enforcement Training for Officers and Allied Agency Officers in San Diego County. Funded by the Ocean Protection Council, the goal of the Compliance Initiative is to increase compliance with MPA rules through a series of community workshops, enforcement trainings, and outreach to district attorneys and court officers.  Enforcement Training attendees receive an updated MPA Enforcement Training manual that includes local MPA regulations, partner jurisdictions, access points, signage locations, prosecution tips, wildlife disturbance information, and more. Over the next three years, Calla Allison, Director of the Collaborative Network, will be working with each of the 14 collaboratives to deliver similar community workshops and enforcement trainings in each coastal county. Workshops and trainings may be pushed back due to changes caused by Covid-19. Reach out to Calla at with questions.

Science Summaries

What is cooler than a cucumber - a sea cucumber!

Author: Natasha Benjamin, Marine Research and Exploration (MARE)
Sea cucumbers are an important component of the sub-tidal zone, feeding on benthic waste and recycling nutrients. They are the “earth worms” of the seafloor. ​Similar to other sea cucumber fisheries around the world, demand is increasing in California, while the resource is becoming less abundant. MARE joined forces in a unique partnership with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) the National Park Service, and commercial sea cucumber fishermen to understand more about these critters. Continue reading and watch the new film "Warty Sea Cucumbers: A Story of Collaboration in California" to learn more...


Funding Opportunities

BoatU.S. Foundation: Grassroots Grants Program
Deadline: N/A
Details: Up to $10,000

Grants to nonprofit organizations, boating clubs and student groups for projects that promote safe and/or clean boating. 

Waitt Foundation Rapid Ocean Conservation Grants (ROC Small Grants)
Deadline: Rolling on a monthly basis
Details: Up to $10,000 for 6 months

Grants will fund projects related to the Waitt Foundation mission of supporting sustainable fishing and marine protected areas (MPAs).

11th Hour Racing Grant
Deadline: June 1, 2020
Details: $10,000-$100,000

11th Hour Racing seeks proposals that align with one or more of our focus areas:

  • Ocean Literacy and Stewardship – increase the understanding and appreciation of the importance of healthy oceans and waterways to communities through experiential learning, citizen science, and powerful story-telling
  • Clean Technologies and Best Practices – advance practices and technologies in coastal communities and the marine industry that reduce waste, prevent plastic pollution, improve water quality, and assess new circular solutions
  • Ecosystem Restoration – improve water quality, bolster coastal resilience, and sequester carbon through coastal habitat restoration
CA Fish & Game Commission Mtg
Wednesday, April 15 - Thursday, April 16, 2020

Morro Bay National Estuary Program State of the Bay
Various Events, April - May

Orange County Marine Protected Area Council Mtg
Monday, April 27, 2020; 2-4 pm
Event details subject to change due to Covid-19. Check the organization's website for updates.

Find All Events Here...

Have an event you'd like to share? Send details to
Keep up with the MPA CN by following us on social media and checking our website for updates.
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