MPA Watch

Thank you for taking an interest in The Otter Project's MPA Watch program. Our initiative would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of Volunteers such as yourself. Thank you for your support!

What is MPA Watch and who runs the program?

The Otter Project, Inc. promotes the rapid recovery of the threatened Southern (California) Sea Otter through science based policy and advocacy.
As part of our effort to protect sea otter habitat, The Otter Project has been heavily involved with the formation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along California's central coast. In order to foster compliance with the regulations of these MPAs, The Otter Project is training a network of volunteers to monitor resource use in and around MPAs from Año Nuevo State Park to Point Buchon in San Luis Obispo. Volunteers are trained to identify onshore and offshore ocean activities and collect data on resource use.

What are the requirements for becoming a Volunteer?

*Volunteers should be over 18 years of age with reliable access to transportation. (If you're a few months away from turning 18, don't let that stop you from signing up for the program as arrangements can be made). *Volunteers must be able to spend at least one hour outdoors in unpredictable central coast weather, not including travel time. Some monitoring sites require moderate hiking. *Volunteers will be asked to use basic field technology (binoculars, GPS, digital camera) and web tools ( and googledocs). *Volunteers are asked to continually help improve and shape monitoring protocols and troubleshoot problems in the field.

What is expected of Volunteers?

*Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 2 hours/week in the field for a 3 month period. *Volunteers must attend a training class and follow up check-in meetings every 6 - 8 weeks. *Once trained, volunteers' monitoring sites are flexible but must be coordinated with other volunteers to avoid overlap.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO NEW VOLUNTEERS - You will receive an email from Jeanée Natov, within a couple of days of submitting this form. Please remember to check your spam filter as it will contain important information about the next available training times.
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