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Improving coastal conservation through collaborative observations in marine protected areas

California coast, California

Featured image for the project, Improving coastal conservation through collaborative observations in marine protected areas

Description

The mission of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Network is to empower coastal communities to advance MPA management and encourage ocean stewardship. The MPA Collaborative includes 14 networked groups of local stakeholders carrying out projects that answer local needs regarding MPAs. Each of the collaboratives has access to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that enables community members to explore and study marine protected areas along the California coast. We are developing a platform where community members can submit footage from our collaborative ROVs, automatically split that footage into individual species observations, receive a summary of the species they observed, and upload the observations to iNaturalist. We will then use these data to address community concerns about the health of local marine protected areas and climate impacts on coastal ecosystems.

This project is still in the “scoping” phase. Stay tuned for more information!