Marine Protected Areas Photo Contest

Microsoft Word - Photo contest 2015.docx

How to be a “Good Tide Pooler”

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Underneath the water off of San Diego’s coastline there is an array of marine wildlife for you to explore. You don’t have to go very deep to experience these amazing creatures up close. During negative tides, head to your nearest shoreline reefs where water pools and find a window into the intertidal world.

Our MPAs are home to San Diego’s best places to “tide pool.” On the reefs around Swami’s, La Jolla and Point Loma you can find a diversity of wild marine invertebrates like sea stars, anemones, octopuses and sea hares among many others.

Although terrific places to view and learn about coastal and marine wildlife, tide pools and the reefs that house them are very sensitive ecosystems. Additionally, these animals and their homes are protected by our network of MPAs and their take is prohibited. So please visit, experience and enjoy San Diego’s tide pools but follow these simple rules and spread the word when you do:

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California Approves Community Based Partnership Plan to Guide MPAs

GREAT NEWS!  After a lengthy public and agency review process, the Ocean Protection Council released a partnership-based guide to long term management of California’s statewide network of marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  The California Collaborative Approach: Marine Protected Areas Partnership Plan outlines how the inclusive process that aided the creation of MPAs will contribute to managing them.  Focused on a shared vision of linking agencies and organizations across geographic scales, the Partnership Plan aims to tap into the existing energy, expertise and resources at the local scale through a network of local County Collaboratives.  Comprised of ocean stakeholders that are forming across coastal California, they will receive local input and undertake activities that foster ocean education and awareness, encourage sustainable recreational use, and promote ease of compliance with MPA protections.

Thankful for the Ocean.

What we are thankful for:

This holiday season, we are thankful for people’s commitment to leave the world a better place. We are also thankful for having a beautiful environment like the ocean nearby. The ocean is an important resource that supports life, and we have many happy memories in it. So the ocean provides food for us but also happy times!

In the ocean we’ve found amazing things like kelp forest, fishes, seaweed and a beautiful ecosystem. The beach gives us a lot of fun, lovely days at the pier and we’ve found many activities to do there like looking at pods of dolphins swim by and enjoying our family and friends.

It makes us happy to collaborate with the Girl Scouts and WILDCOAST because we know we are contributing to help the Marine Protected Areas. The beach is part of our community, and as Girl Scouts but also as residents of San Ysidro, California, we want to work protecting the ocean so that other generations can enjoy it as we do.

Sofia Valles y Lucia Valles. Girl Scout Troop 5912


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Alpine Girl Scouts Get Excited About Their Marine Protected Areas.

This past Saturday I spent the morning with an amazing group of  105 girls, the Girl Scout Troop #6323 from Alpine, California.  The girls invited me to talk about the importance of “not littering” and keeping our streets clean, but I decided to add one thing to the talk: our ocean!  Though the community of Alpine is not “close” to the ocean, the girls learned how trash and other pollutants left in streets, near creeks or rivers, can affect our oceans and our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  It is important for us to see the BIG picture, just because we don’t see the trash doesn’t mean it’s gone.

The girls learned about San Diego’s new MPAs, which was a new concept for them, and all the different marine wildlife they can encounter in those areas. Like one girl said “so they are better than aquariums?” YES! You can see animals in their natural habitats, but you have to be very careful because they are protected by law so future generations can also enjoy them. The girls were so excited they could’t wait to tell their parents that they could go kayaking or snorkeling in these areas.

After we talked about MPAs, we dove in to how to keep them clean and healthy. We discussed different ways to make sure trash or any other pollutants don’t end up in the ocean were animals and humans can get hurt by them.

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We want to hear your opinion!

If you speak English as a second language  please join our Focus Group Study. 

Free gift will be given for participating!

WILDCOAST and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to get your opinion on a new logo related to California’s marine environment.

Time and date: May 15, 2014 at 9:30 am.

Where: WILDCOAST office

925 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach, California

(Right in front of the Imperial Beach Pier)

Coffee and Snacks will be provided.

To register please email or call Diane Castaneda at or at 619-423-8665 ext. 207 


Image provided by Windad Hess


San Ysidro Girl Scouts Help Protect Our Oceans

Since the implementation of San Diego County’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Girl Scout Troop 5912 from San Ysidro, CA has worked hard to help protect their local underwater parks.  These amazing Girl Scouts have done beach cleanups at the Tijuana River Mouth MPA to make sure trash doesn’t reach the ocean. They have also stenciled storm drains around the city of San Ysidro (an inland community a few minutes from the Tijuana River Mouth MPA) to educate community members about the importance of preventing storm water pollution from reaching their MPA. Most recently they have joined WILDCOAST’s MPA Watch citizen-science volunteer team by conducting surveys at the Tijuana River Mouth MPA. The girls are collecting data on marine recreational activities to better understand how people are using the MPAs. Wildcoast-75 Wildcoast-78

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Make Better Seafood Choices

We as consumer, play an important role in the health of our oceans.

Learn how to help protect fish and ocean animals by making good decisions when purchasing seafood. The decisions you make when choosing seafood at grocery stores and restaurants directly impact the health of our oceans.

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    Seafood Watch provides recommendations based on scientific research and strict fishing/farming sustainability criteria. You can use one of the many free tools (iPhone and Android app and consumer guides) provided by Seafood Watch to start making a difference today! Get involved at

    Special thanks to Simons Strategy & Communications and Evolve Media Production for their work in developing this video.


    Video provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

    Become a MPA Watch Volunteer in South San Diego

    Spent your Saturday Morning at the Beach!
    Join us Saturday March 22 for our 4th training of MPA Watch for the Tijuana River Mouth. Volunteers will spend the morning with  Wildcoast staff, learning how to take a transect survey of the Tijuana River Mouth Marine Protected Area.  
    Training will last approximately three hours, with an in-class training and field training. Volunteers will learn about the history and importance of MPAs in San Diego, how to use an MPA Watch data sheet, and why human-use surveys are so important to building our knowledge about how MPAs impact the areas they protect.  Once trained, volunteers are able to conduct surveys whenever they are able, so the schedule is flexible.
    Data collection is done following state-wide methods and protocols, and all information will be used in the future assessment of our MPAs in San Diego and is helpful in understanding how human use has changed since their implementation. 
    Location: WILDCOAST office 
    925 Seacoast Drive
    Imperial Beach, CA 91932
    (Offices are located in front of the Imperial Beach Pier, second floor from the liquor store)
    Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014
    Time: 9:00am-12:00 pm
    To register please contact Marine Coordinator Diane Castaneda at

    WILDCOAST To Help Host Marine Wilderness Meeting