Marine Protected Area Watch Training with the San Ysidro Girl Scouts

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In the beginning of 2014, WILDCOAST and the Girl Scouts of San Ysidro, developed the first Junior Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch program in California. The program is designed to gather data on how people are using the MPA network and help guide future management decisions. The Junior MPA Watch program is engaging younger audiences in citizen science and greatly contributing to the statewide project. Today, over 100 youth in San Diego County have participated in the program, many from Girl Scout troop 5912 in San Ysidro, one of the county’s most park-poor communities.

Although the Girl Scouts love to play and learn in their closest MPA, the Tijuana River Mouth SMCA, they are also spending their free time helping WILDCOAST protect it. On June 15, 2015 two girl scouts from 5912 took on a new role in the program and trained eight of their group members to conduct the MPA Watch surveys.  Maite and Ileana, both have been very active in the program and other efforts to improve the MPA and nearby estuary. They have carried out beach cleanups, done storm drain stenciling in their community and have even visited local elected officials to ask for further open space and MPA protection. With their help, now even more local youth are stewarding one of the county’s underwater parks and helping to guide an effective future for our MPAs.

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Become a MPA Watch Volunteer in South San Diego

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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 diane@wildcoast.net.