The marine protected areas (MPA) in and around SLO County are bringing proposals together for informational media that will give residents and visitors a glimpse into the wild parts of our ocean and shore. You may have seen the new billboards at Montana de Oro or at the Embarcadero Park in Morro Bay. There are funds for further publicity and, with the State Park Rangers, there is collaboration for projects that serve a larger area.

New proposals that we came up with at our last meeting are listed below. As your representative on the local MPA, my input can be seen for numbers 2 and 9.

  1. Brochure for MPA enforcement and education with images from shore and from sea of distinctive boundary markers. (Note: An example from Orange County Collaborative on waterproof paper was shared. The type of paper is either Durarite or Xerox brand that can be printed on with a Laser printer and remains waterproof.)
  2. Climate change interpretive panels for the MPAs that highlight what an individual can do to better their lifestyle while protecting the oceans. They will explain the effects that we expect to take place in our area including acidification, sea level rise, and warming temperatures, while focusing on the positives of how each of us can make a difference.
  3. Economic impact study on the value of MPAs to SLO County.
  4. MPA Science Symposium for the public presenting MPA science of the SLO MPAs.
  5. Outreach boxes with MPA hands-on resources such as stuffed rockfish with eggs to demonstrate the importance of large fish to population recovery, etc. that can be checked out from a central location by collaborative members for use in schools and other outreach events.
  6. A video and instructions on how to conduct fish counting for schools, so that students view video footage of the local MPAs and try their hand at conducting citizen science fish population counts.
  7. Restaurant placemat artwork with MPA tips, information, and activities for children. We can print some to interest restaurants, and also provide digital artwork for future printings.
  8. Waterproof clip-on mini-pocket guides about the SLO County MPAs and identification of species you may see with translations into Northern Chumash language.
  9. Coastal and Marine Conservation Children’s Activity Booklet: a 16-page educational resource to be distributed to California State Park’s Coastal Beaches and partnering organizations in print and online. Topics to be covered are storm water prevention, marine protected areas, sea/shore birds, tide pool life, swimming safety, wildlife viewing etiquette, marine mammals and how you can protect the marine and coastal resources.
  10. Spanish/English educational guide to local MPAs with species identification and when and what to see.
  11. “Share Space with Sea Otters” & q for Coleman Beach and Target Rock dive entry points.  (See attached draft panel)

Thank you and it is a pleasure to represent the SLO Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
-Harvey Cohon