This report snapshots the 2021 Marine Protected Area Boater Education Project’s (Project) engagement strategies, successes, and lessons learned. Through the implementation of this project funded by the Ocean Protection Council and Coastal Quest, TBF’s Boater Education Program now includes Marine Protected Area (MPA) education into its programming. The goal is to increase the knowledge of MPAs and compliance with associated regulations across Southern California’s growing and evolving recreational boating and angling communities, whose actions can impact the health of the ocean environment. To increase access to the program, several educational resources are now provided in both English and Spanish. This Project delivers on several priority recommendations to increase public awareness of MPAs and addresses three out of five key findings in the California MPA Education and Outreach Needs Assessment including “01: The recreational fishing community remains an underserved audience and potentially powerful ally in need of targeted MPA outreach.”, “02: Printing, distribution and continued replenishment of materials are major obstacles to sustained outreach.”, and “05: Strategic, targeted, and audience-specific tools and approaches are needed for each product, program, or training”.
The deliverables generated by this Project fall into three sections: digital resources, Dockwalker program, and California Clean Boating Network meeting.