Santa Cruz

MPA Collaborative

About

The Santa Cruz MPA Collaborative brings together marine protected area experts from local and federal agencies, nonprofits, ocean businesses, scientific institutions, and museums.

If you are interested in participating in the Santa Cruz Collaborative, please contact the Co-Chairs listed below.

Projects

MPA Exhibit

The Santa Cruz MPA Collaborative worked with the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery worked to integrate engaging, interactive, multi-media exhibits with understandable, user-friendly MPA educational content. The museum created an original interactive map of the local MPAs with content questions, which the visitor answers by pushing buttons which light up the correct answer.

MPA Mobile Cart

The Collaborative worked with Natural Bridges State Park on the development of a mobile cart that park docents use to facilitate MPA education. Components of the cart include brochures and pamphlets, educational MPA posters, curated skulls of adult and juvenile sea otters, a photo album of local tidepool inhabitants, interactive materials for children such as MPA Pledge postcards, beach treasure hunt, beach bingo, MPA activity booklet, as well as several items for children to touch and explore including a synthetic giant green anemone figure.

Docents and staff use the cart to speak with visitors about a myriad of topics and themes relating to Marine Protected Areas, including the importance of protecting the marine shoreline, local invertebrate diversity, beach safety, explaining how tides affect marine life, and increasing general awareness and understanding of MPAs.

Mobile App Tour

Mobile Ranger created and promoted a mobile App Tour for five beaches in Santa Cruz County that are part of a Marine Protected Area (MPA). Mobile Ranger’s mission is to help create deep connections between people and the places where they live or visit. They accomplish this by telling compelling stories of place that are designed to reach and inspire a 21st-century audience. The stories were put together in collaboration with multiple Santa Cruz Collaborative partners, including State Parks, Save our Shores, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and University of California, Santa Cruz scientists.

MPA Outreach Toolkits

The Santa Cruz Collaborative revised and printed existing Santa Cruz region MPA materials and provided them to Collaborative partners to use at their visitor centers, businesses and at events throughout the year. Materials updated through the Small Grants Program are linked below. Additional resources included in the Toolkits are freely available on the California MPAs website and can be used to create mix-and-match MPA Outreach Toolkits that fit various needs.

Mini-ROV Expeditions

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Members statewide are field-testing Trident mini-ROVs (remotely operated vehicles or underwater drones) in collaboration with SoFar Ocean, National Geographic and the S.E.E. Initiative. More information about Collaborative expeditions focusing on MPA outreach, compliance, and citizen science projects can be found on our Resources page.

Be sure to follow the Santa Cruz Expeditions below on National Geographics digital field journal platform, Open Explorer.