On The Water & In The Community

Updates from our Marine Protected Areas Watch Team!

LA Waterkeeper’s MPA Watch Program is honored to be collaborating with the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples and Sherman Indian High School to help safeguard the region’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) while providing opportunities for youth with limited access to our coast to explore our marine environment.

Wishtoyo Foundation Founder Mati Waiya leading the opening ceremony around the Tomol, a Chumash dugout canoe, on Sept. 24th.

Wishtoyo Foundation Founder Mati Waiya leading the opening ceremony around the Tomol, a Chumash dugout canoe, on Sept. 24th.

Sherman students have joined us at several events the past few months, including 25 Indigenous youth and faculty from Native Nations throughout the country who volunteered at our cleanup site for Coastal Cleanup Day on September 17th.

On September 24th, LAW and other members of the LA MPA Collaborative worked with the Wishtoyo Foundation to sponsor Honor The Ocean Day, an event celebrating our MPAs and the deep connection indigenous peoples have long held with our ocean. Community members gathered at Malibu’s Zuma Beach in the Pt. Dume MPA to enjoy free surfing lessons, storytelling by Chumash elders, as well as marine and watershed science presentations by collaborative members. LAW was delighted to share the day with Sherman Indian High School’s Indigenous Youth Coastal Advocate Fellows, who made the long trek up to Malibu for this unique event – some of whom had never before been to the beach, and were surfing by day’s end! Read more about this inspiring event here.

Photo courtesy of C. Beeshligaii

MPA Watch Trip on Oct. 8th. Photo by C. Beeshligaii

On October 8th, Sherman Youth Fellows joined LAW Community Programs Manager Michael Quill for an MPA Watch Boat-Based Survey trip. Students-turned-community-scientists learned about boat safety, data collection protocol, the influence of human activity on our oceans, and how MPAs protect our fisheries and coastal habitat. Above, you can see students documenting boating and fishing activity in and around the Pt. Dume MPA while experiencing a beautiful – and for some, a first – day out on the water.


LA Waterkeeper’s partnerships with the Sacred Places Institute and Sherman Indian High School are made possible by the Whale Tail Grants Program from the  California Coastal Commission.


 For more information about our MPA Watch Program, please click here or contact Michael Quill at: mquill@LAWaterkeeper.org

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