**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
November marks the first anniversary of the online community – and our community is the heart of OceanSpaces. In our first year, we’ve grown to 600+ members, who are broadly engaged across the platform: downloading data; sharing monitoring results; writing blogs and more. The interactive e-book, videos and data pages for the Central Coast region have provided a deeper understanding of the value of the marine protected area (MPA) monitoring program and results. These pages have been viewed more than 30,000 times!
View our new anniversary infographic!
OceanSpaces is a collaborative effort and we set out to be inclusive of everyone who has a stake in the health of California’s oceans. Today, our members and groups span across research institutions, citizen science organizations, tribal governments, fishermen, resource managers and environmental non-profits. Building an online community requires active participation across fields and interests. We wish to express our sincere thanks to all our community members, groups and visitors – you have helped bring OceanSpaces to life!
Moreover, to date, MPA monitoring has been conducted at more than 1,000 sites across the state. Thirty-seven institutions and organizations have participated in baseline monitoring efforts across 29 monitoring projects, with more projects beginning in the North Coast region soon. The data collected and analyses conducted add up to the most comprehensive study of the state’s ocean ecosystems ever undertaken.
The value of this information extends beyond the adaptive management of the MPAs. The results will also inform fisheries management, climate change adaptation and other ocean policy. Baseline monitoring activities have already documented the effects of harmful algal blooms and sea star-wasting disease, and informed abalone fishery management decisions.
Since it’s launch, Facing West has become one of the most visited sections of OceanSpaces. It has been great to see both the blog topics and authors expanding to reflect the range of community members and interests on OceanSpaces. We invite you to add your voice and share your story.
We welcome your feedback! We are committed to making OceanSpaces a valuable resource to communicate, create and share information about California’s ocean health. Please take our user survey of ten short questions.
Finally, check out our new infographic that highlights some of our community’s milestones and impact on marine resource management and stewardship. Click here for a PDF version to view full screen.