Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA)

South Coast MPAs

Photo Credits: Heal the Bay

MPA Watch is a citizen-science program, created and run by Heal the Bay and sponsored by USC Sea Grant. MPA Watch trains volunteers to observe and collect unbiased data on coastal and marine resource use. This data provides valuable information to help managers understand how people are using the new South Coast MPAs, established under the Marine Life Protection Act. Not only do local volunteers learn about their coastal environment and become scientists and stewards of the area, but they generate quantities of monitoring data that would not be possible under the current state budget.

Monitoring the newly created MPAs is important in order to make sure that these areas meet the goals of the Act, facilitate adaptive management in the future if adjustments need to made, and to improve our understanding of coastal marine ecosystems. Specifically, the MPA Watch volunteers will observe and record both consumptive and non-consumptive offshore and onshore activities in and around MPAs, which will improve our understanding of how people are using these new MPAs. Data from citizen-science projects like MPA Watch will compliment data collected by official monitoring groups, resource managers, scientists and the Department of Fish and Game. Ecological, economic, and demographic are just a few types of data that will be collected to provide a comprehensive picture on how the MPAs are functioning.

For more information on the MPA Watch Program:

Related Links
For More Information
(213) 740-1961
National Focus Area
Healthy Coastal Ecosystems