How Orange County Coastkeeper is educating the public
Public education is a critical component of the local support and outreach in Orange County. To help explain MPAs there are three locally produced MPA maps available to the public.
Coastkeeper created our Orange County Boating and Diving Chart featuring MPAs in 2012. This chart was developed for offshore users and is available online, and every year Coastkeeper prints 2,500 copies and distributes them for free through diving stores and other sporting goods stores. On holiday weekends Coast-keeper sends out volunteers to distribute the guides at selected boat ramps. The chart is an especially important tool for boaters from inland areas who occasionally bring their boats to the ocean for fishing and may not be familiar with MPA regulations.
Coastkeeper is part of a coalition called the Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC). Members of the council also include Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Santa Ana College, the County of Orange and the cities of Dana Point, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach and the Crystal Cove Alliance and Laguna Ocean Foundation. The council meets quarterly to discuss issues of education, research and enforcement in Marine Protected Areas. OCMPAC also has created a map that includes all of the Orange County MPAs. For more information about OCMPAC, go to www.oc-marineprotection.org.
The third map is published by the Laguna Blue Belt Coalition, and it is Laguna-specific, highlighting the Laguna Reserve, Laguna State Marine Conservation Area and the northern portion of the Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area. That map can be found at http://lagunabluebelt.org/laguna-smr/.
Want this story in hard copy? For a limited time, for every donation of $25 or more, you will receive Coastkeeper's high-quality magazine that you will want to keep and a Coastkeeper decal. This timeless and tangible copy is all about Orange County and a great way to learn about clean water projects and opportunities in your neighborhood.