More than 100 Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, span the coast of California, including the waters around Catalina Island. But how effective are MPAs in protecting coastal ecosystems? And how are global threats such as climate change impacting marine life in this region? With your help, scientists aim to find out.
Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, and surrounded by some of the most vibrant kelp forest habitats in the world. This region is also home to multiple Areas of Special Biological Significance and seven Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which are regions designed to safeguard marine animals, plants, and their habitats by limiting human activities such as fishing or boating.
Catalina is sometimes referred to as a ‘living laboratory.’ Despite its close proximity to Los Angeles, a major urban landscape, the island is relatively remote and significant efforts have been made to protect its coastal waters. It is therefore an ideal region to study not only the effects of MPAs on the health of marine ecosystems, but how global threats, such as climate change, are impacting these waters.
Join scientists on this picturesque island and help to monitor the health of a unique coastal habitat. Record the abundance of marine mammals such as California sea lions, gray whales, and common dolphins; collect water samples; survey the inhabitants of the intertidal zone; and observe the ways in which humans use this delicate habitat. Contribute to Pacific coast datasets and help to conserve a valuable marine ecosystem.