California MPA Watch Goes Border to Border

Pyramid Point SMCA 1

Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area – now an MPA Watch site.

WILDCOAST’s MPA Watch Coordinator, Angela Kemsley traveled to the far reaches of northern California to expand the state-wide MPA Watch program. Angela met with the Marine Biologist for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation in Smith River to set up two new MPA Watch sites – including one site that runs right into the California-Oregon border! Now with these new implementations, California’s MPA Watch Program runs border to border – from Mexico to Oregon –  and covers every coastal county in California.

MPA Watch relies on the power of local partnerships to engage communities in the collection of data to create a snapshot of how people are using coastal and marine resources inside and outside of MPAs in California.

Angela was honored to work alongside representatives of the both the Tolowa Dee-ni’ and Yurok Nations, whose local knowledge and expertise will help to strengthen MPA Watch and MPA management in Del Norte County. Among the topics discussed was the submission of AB 2369, a bill WILDCOAST is sponsoring to make poaching violations within MPAs receive similar treatment to poaching violations within state parks on land.


Ruthie Maloney of the Yurok Nation (left) and Angela Kemsley, WILDCOAST’s MPA Watch Coordinator (right) surveying one of two new MPA Watch sites in Klamath, California.

The Tolowa and Yurok peoples are wonderful examples of why poaching enforcement is so crucial as their ancestral lands overlap with several MPAs in the region. Unsustainable poaching threatens not only the amazing biodiversity of the area, but also depletes the natural resources the Tolowa and Yurok still rely on to this day.

If you are interested in becoming an MPA Watch volunteer and helping to save the beautiful waters of California please visit for a list of MPA Watch providers near you!



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