Hear how our beaches are faring

COAST CITIES — San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization that protects and restores fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters, invites the San Diego community to learn about Marine Protected Areas (MPA) at Signs of the Tide: the MPA “CLICK.” The free event at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Sumner Auditorium will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 30.At the event, Coastkeeper, WiLDCOAST and Department of Fish and Wildlife will provide a year-in-review report on MPAs and talk about community involvement with the MPA Watch program. Information will be offered on the newly launched app and how to become a contributor to the MPA “CLICK.”

After San Diego’s MPAs became official in January 2012, San Diego Coastkeeper partnered with engineering students from University of California at San Diego, who developed a Web-based app that will help Coastkeeper monitor activity in the MPAs. With help from volunteers “clicking” information into their phones, communities can contribute to tracking of activities in protected areas.

Coastkeeper hopes the app will increase awareness and education surrounding the year-old MPAs. Coastkeeper designed its April Signs of the Tide to get community members updated on MPAs in San Diego and launch its new technology-driven monitoring program, aiming to engage those who are out enjoying San Diego’s MPAs in their continued protection end effective implementation.

At the event, community members will hear from three specialized experts:

— Scott Bringman, from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division, will provide the community with knowledge about MPAs and how communities can help them succeed.

— Conservation Director at WiLDCOAST Ben McCue, will reflect on the year of MPA implementation, new signage, education and what WiLDCOAST MPA Watch Program offers.

— Mallory Watson, community engagement coordinator at Coastkeeper, will discuss what volunteer groups have recently accomplished and how new volunteers can participate in the MPA Watch Program.

Join the MPA “CLICK” at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Sumner Auditorium at 8622 Kennel Way, La Jolla. For more information, visit sdcoastkeeper.org.



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