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IV. Section Education
Sanctuary designation could provide local governments, businesses,
citizen groups, farmers, fishermen, tourists and existing institutions
information and techniques to protect the natural environment
of Monterey Bay. Increased public understanding and appreciation
of the value of Monterey Bay resources is essential for their
protection. The interpretive program for the Sanctuary will be
focused on improving public awareness of the Sanctuary and providing
information on Bay area resources and qualities and Sanctuary
regulations designed to protect them. Such efforts are intended
to also encourage compliance with the Sanctuary regulations and
other existing regulations designed to protect the Monterey Bay
The education program should be directed to improving public awareness
and understanding of the significance of the Sanctuary and the
need to protect its resources and qualities. The management objectives
designed to meet this goal are to:
- Provide the public with information on the Sanctuary and its
goals and objectives, with an emphasis on the need to use these
resources wisely to ensure their long-term viability; šBroaden
support for the Sanctuary and Sanctuary management by offering
programs suited to visitors with a range of diverse interests;
šProvide for public involvement by encouraging feedback on the
effectiveness of education programs and collaborate with other
organizations to provide interpretive services, including extension
and outreach programs and other volunteer projects complementary
to the Sanctuary program;
- Collaboration with Sanctuary management staff in extension
and outreach programs, and participation in other volunteer
- Incorporate research results into the interpretive/education
program in a format useful for the general public; and
- Create public awareness of the entire Nation-wide Sanctuary
Program, its purposes and intent and the role of the Monterey
Bay NMS as part of a larger system.
Opportunities for interpreting the MBNMS fall into two broad categories:
1) education for local visitors and potential users of the Sanctuary,
including; school groups and teachers, fishermen, boaters, divers,
etc., as well as education for visitors at local information centers
and at the Sanctuary headquarters; and 2) interested groups not
visiting either location but who desire to learn more about the
Sanctuary's resources and qualities. Below is a description of
the educational programs that the Sanctuary will develop to maximize
For example, the diversity of habitats and communities, the unique
Monterey Canyon, and the overlap of human uses of the resources
such as fisheries present unique opportunities for education.
There are many potential vehicles for education including the
highway pulloffs, existing State park, beach, refuge and reserve
programs, community colleges, university extension programs, and
boat tours. The large numbers of visitors to the area (for example,
1 - 2 million yearly on the Big Sur coastal highway) is a potential
"market" for educational information in addition to local residents
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, the Año Nuevo facilities,
and the Elkhorn Slough NERR, as well as other State and private
educational facilities such as Point Lobos, Point Lobos Natural
History Association, Big Sur, and university programs bring an
exciting existing dimension to interpretation of the proposed
Sanctuary area, and present a great opportunity for presentation
of information on the proposed Sanctuary program.
As well as established facilities there are a number of locations
throughout the Sanctuary's coastal area that present additional
opportunities for educational and interpretive services for visitors
to the area. For example the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Davenport,
Wilder Ranch, Pt. Santa Cruz and New Brighton/Seacliff Pier already
provide education opportunities on a variety of historical and
fishing subject areas. Waddell Creek, Moss Landing State Beaches,
Carmel/Stillwater and the Pt. Sur Lighthouse are all excellent
recreational sites for windsurfing, sportdiving, whalewatching,
surfing and sportfishing. Big Basin, Natural Bridges State Park,
New Brighton Beach, Moss Landing State Beach, Salinas River National
Refuge, Asilomar and the area between Lover's Point to Pebble
Beach are areas of easy public access for nature viewing and intertidal,
coastal and estuarine ecology education.
Finally, Santa Cruz Pier and Harbor, Capitola Wharf, Manresa/Sunset
Beach, Moss Landing Harbor, Marina, Monterey Harbor and Piers,
Coast Guard Breakwater and Carmel Beach are all excellent locations
to establish signs and displays. These educational displays would
provide visitors, residents and users of the Sanctuary with a
brief description of the Sanctuary's resources and uses. The signs
could also outline the objectives and goals of the National Marine
Sanctuary Program and specifically educate the public regarding
the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary regulations.
Education for the MBNMS will consist of three distinct sub- programs:
- Site visitor programs and information for regular users such
as fishing and whale watching excursions, other recreational
visitors to Sanctuary waters and local public and school groups;
- Information center programs for those visiting the facilities
at the MBNMS headquarters and other nearby information centers;
- Outreach programs for interested groups not visiting the Sanctuary.
It should be noted again, however, that many of these programs
will be carried out in coordination with programs already sponsored
by existing interpretative programs.
Site Visitor Programs
Whale watching and other nature viewing at Monterey Bay is generally
incidental to sport fishing from excursion boats, but there is
a potential for excursions solely for the purpose of nature viewing.
Nature enthusiasts visiting Monterey Bay have the opportunity
to enjoy watching sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoises
and Grey whales as well as the large flocks of seabirds that feed
in Bay waters. Brochures and educational materials will be made
available to fishermen and nature viewers to make them aware of
Sanctuary regulations, particularly with regard to waste disposal,
and to inform them about the seabirds and marine mammals that
may be seen in the Sanctuary and the rich ecological communities
lying beneath its waters.
On-site education provided by the MBNMS manager will consist
largely of written material describing the Sanctuary and explaining
its regulations. This information will be available to the wide
variety of recreational users and tourists who visit the area.
The program will actively coordinate with existing educational
programs. If there is sufficient public interest and if funding
and staff resources are available for expanding this program,
the Sanctuary Manager will consider co-sponsoring special excursions
to Monterey Bay waters, organized by non-profit organizations,
and providing on- board interpreters.
Information Center Programs
The establishment of a Sanctuary headquarters in the area and
the existence of other visitor and information centers along
the coast provide an opportunity to inform visitors to these
sites about the Monterey Bay environment. Many of these visitors
would not normally visit Monterey Bay; yet, given the opportunity
to see educational exhibits and brochures about the Sanctuary
at these centers, their appreciation for the special qualities
of the Bay environment should be enhanced. The feasibility of
establishing additional distribution points for brochures and
information and space for posters and displays will be investigated.
There are geographically distributed educational/interpretive
programs that present a range of opportunities for users to
gain an appreciation of the marine environment. To a large extent
these programs are not coordinated.
Año Nuevo State Reserve: The University of California,
Santa Cruz, has a visiting schools program, and its The Environmental
Studies Internship Program is involved in the Año Nuevo
docent program which trains guides. CDP&R has a popular
program providing guided walks to observe the pinnipeds and
all other aspects of the natural history of the reserve. Emphasis
is on the growth of the elephant seal population, and pinniped
ecology. An improved visitor center is being planned and the
area attracts approximately 140,000 visitors/year.
California Sea Otter Game Refuge (Central Coast of California):
At present the Refuge does not have an educational program dedicated
to the California Sea Otter.
California State Park System: The State parks, beaches,
historical parks and reserves offer public access to the shoreline
throughout most of the study area. Access is only difficult
along the Big Sur shoreline. There are only a limited number
of educational programs considering the rich marine resources.
Carmel Bay Ecological Reserve: This area is used by
researchers, sport-fishermen and sport divers.
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve:
On-site management provided by CDF&G which shares overall
management responsibility with NOAA (Sanctuaries and Reserves
Division). The site and visitor center provide visitors with
numerous marine and estuarine interpretive exhibits. Docent
guided tours of the site are available year-round and the Elkhorn
Slough Foundation facilitates the use of the site as an outdoor
research laboratory as part of the National Estuarine Research
Hopkins Marine Life Refuge (Pacific Grove): This area
is primarily used by researchers. Long Marine Laboratories Aquarium
and Museum (Santa Cruz): Presents program and docent led tours
of research facilities.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Presents programs dealing with
all facets of the proposed Sanctuary environment. The goal of
the aquarium is to "stimulate interest, increase knowledge and
promote stewardship of Monterey Bay and the world's ocean environment
through innovative exhibits, public education and scientific
research". Based on the theme of habitats of Monterey Bay, the
Aquarium exhibit program offers visitors a first-hand look into
the world of these diverse undersea communities. On-site school,
outreach and teacher education programs provide information
to approximately 100,000 school children and 1,300 teachers
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories: Holds an open house
each year to present ongoing research. In addition, programs
are offered to school groups.
Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz: Provides visitors
with information on the marine environment. The Environmental
Studies Internship Program at UCSC provides coordination of
many of the site's programs.
Natural Bridges State Park: Provides tide pool tours
to school groups.
Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Fish Refuge: Primarily
used for recreation, especially diving.
Pacific Grove Natural History Museum: Provides visitors
with information on the marine environment.
Point Lobos State Reserve: A small educational program
is conducted and guided walks are available. School groups are
encouraged to visit Asilomar State Beach rather than Point Lobos.
Santa Cruz Port District: Provides interpretive educational
programs with approximately 50 tours/year and programs are to
Finally, the Sanctuary educational program will try to reach
groups in the coastal region of California and elsewhere who
have an interest in Monterey Bay and related areas, but are
not apt to visit the area. This project entails identifying
these groups and making educational materials and presentations
available to them.
These programs will be carried out in conjunction with similar
local programs to provide off-site education. Where possible,
they will involve close cooperation with environmental study
groups such as the Sierra Club, Center for Marine Conservation,
American Cetacean Society (National and the Monterey Bay Chapter),
Audubon Society, Friends of the Sea Otter, and the Whale Center;
research and education organizations, such as the California
Academy of Sciences, the University of California and the Pescadero
Marsh Natural Reserve; local officials in Monterey, Santa Cruz
and San Mateo counties; the State Sea Grant Program and the
Association of Monterey Bay Governments (AMBAG) and representatives
of the tourism and recreational and commercial fishing industries.
These groups will be provided with educational materials on
the Sanctuary and will be encouraged to inform others of the
availability of these materials. If interest is strong enough,
a slide presentation or mobile exhibit may be developed for
the use of schools and private groups.
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