Vols Sought to Survey MPA Sanctuaries

Who wouldn’t want a job that involves strolling along some of the most beautiful beaches in L.A.? It’s not a paid gig, but you get to help protect what you love – the ocean! Heal the Bay is now training volunteers to help monitor our new marine protected areas (MPAs) in Point Dume and Palos Verdes. Volunteers collect observational data on coastal uses in MPAs; data which is then used by the California Department of Fish & Game to help with management and compliance.

“Our volunteer citizen scientists come from varied backgrounds – from social workers to students – but all our volunteers have one thing in common: a passion for the sea,” says Dana Roeber Murray, Heal the Bay’s coastal scientist. Dana started the MPA Watch program in early 2011 to train local citizens on MPA monitoring and has trained over 60 volunteers to date.

“It took years of collaboration with scientists, fishermen, government, and other non-profits to see these protected areas enacted,” Dana says. “We worked hard up and down the state to make it happen. So it’s been very gratifying to see the public embracing MPAs and volunteering their time to help monitor their effectiveness.”

MPA Watch volunteers commit to attending one classroom and one field training to become citizen scientists, then go on to survey the coast at least four times a month. Heal the Bay also offers MPA Watch summer internship opportunities for people eager to get more deeply involved with Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy department.  For more information, check out our MPA Watch FAQs or contact Dana. 

Trainings are only offered a few times a year, so reserve your spot and sign up now.