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MPA Watch

Main Project Information
Goal Develop future assessments of San Diego's Marine Protected Area
Task Document human uses of San Diego's MPAs.
Where San Diego None CA La Jolla Shores and Tijuana River Mouth (San Diego MPA regions) San Diego, CA

In 2012, San Diego's Marine Protected Area (MPA) network went into effect. To help assess the effectiveness and functions of our MPAs, the region will undergo a 5-year review in 2015, looking at ecological impacts and human use.

To collect a robust data source for human use of our protected areas, we are training up citizen scientists to conduct visual transects of our MPAs in San Diego County.

During training, all participants will learn how to take a transect during an MPA Watch assessment and receive the data sheets and information you need to participate. We are asking volunteers only to document human uses of our MPAs. Data collection is done following state-wide methods and protocols.

All information will be used in the future assessment of our MPAs in San Diego and helpful in understanding how human use has changed since their implementation.

How to Join

You must attend a training session to work on this project. We will be hosting our next training on Saturday, August 24th at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 9am-noon.

To RSVP for training, please contact

Once trained, volunteers are able to conduct surveys whenever they are able, so the schedule is flexible.

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Required Gear

Coastkeeper will provide data sheets. It is recommended to bring a clipboard and binoculars.

All MPA Watch members should wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen. The assessments will involve walking long stretches of the shoreline, frequently up to an hour at a time.

Ideal Age Group Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, While fishing, On a hike, In snow or rain, At the beach, On a walk, run
Tags Beach, Fishing, Marine Policy, Marine Protected Areas, Marine Science, Ocean, Ocean Conservation
Project Updated 05/23/2018