Augmented reality coloring pages, online docent trainings, and wildlife disturbance campaigns, oh my! Collaboratives and partners are hard at work developing and carrying out marine protected area (MPA) outreach and education projects funded through small grants provided by the Ocean Protection Council’s Once-Through Cooling (OTC) Interim Mitigation Fund, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Marisla Foundation. Funds are administered by Coastal Quest.

The Monterey and San Luis Obispo Collaborative project team is finalizing exciting updates to the previously created bilingual MPA Coloring Book and California Coastal Explorer Guide. The updated booklets will include QuiverVision 3D augmented reality coloring pages that link to interactive and educational experiences featuring a California two-spot octopus and lingcod. Learners will help these species likely to benefit from MPAs find food and grow strong in their protected habitats. Completed booklets are expected to be printed and shipped to Collaboratives for distribution in the spring of 2021.

The Golden Gate MPA Collaborative project team is working diligently to create region-specific online MPA training modules, expanding upon the original online MPA training developed in 2018. The team has held meetings with Collaborative Co-Chairs to introduce the project, distributed surveys to gather information from Collaborative members and area experts, and has a draft of the Central Coast module currently out for review. Funding for the volunteer-based Collaboratives was written into the grant proposal to support and acknowledge volunteer efforts in contributing to and reviewing the modules. The Collaborative Network plans to build upon this model for future projects that rely on volunteer contributions. Final regional modules geared towards training front-line docents, volunteers, and interpreters are expected to be available in the summer of 2021.

Our partners at the Respect Wildlife Campaign (RWC) are developing a statewide campaign focused on reducing wildlife disturbance on the coast with the help of the hired contractor, Gigantic Idea Studios. The RWC is a coalition of organizations and agencies, including the Collaborative Network, working together to protect coastal wildlife from disruptive human encounters. On November 17th and 18th, the RWC held the 6th Annual California Coastal Wildlife Disturbance Symposium. The virtual event featured a full day of expert speakers followed by a half-day of discussion sessions. Many great ideas were shared to guide and inspire Gigantic Idea Studios as they work with the project team to develop a campaign strategy with consistent, effective messaging.

We look forward to utilizing and sharing these final products as well as the many other great projects and programs that are underway by the other grantees!

Existing video created by the Respect Wildlife Campaign.