Stronger Together: Coastal Wildlife Guardians Gather
On November 14, with a view of the fog-shrouded wetlands from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, a group of people gathered with the common goal of protecting the wildlife of the Central California coast. The forty participants at the 2nd Annual Central California Coastal Wildlife Disturbance Symposium came to hear presentations describing wildlife disturbance issues and ideas for solutions. They came to participate in problem-solving groups to brainstorm solutions to real-life human-wildlife conflict scenarios. They came to meet others from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local businesses to find common ground, common goals and ways to work together to foster awareness and stewardship.
Presenters brought news from up and down the coast: We learned about Black Oystercatchers nesting perilously on bare rocks frequented by tidepool explorers and fishermen. Speakers shared solutions for balancing the needs of humans and wildlife at popular wildlife viewing places like Pt. Lobos State Park and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. A lively group discussion followed a talk by Sanctuary Cruises Whale Watching about responsible ecotourism. We were guided by an education specialist from the Monterey Bay Aquarium toward reaching out to a diverse community by communicating using universal themes.
Sea Otter Savvy worked together with the Seabird Protection Network and California State Parks to organize this symposium with the goal of maximizing the effectiveness of diverse efforts to mitigate human-caused disturbance to coastal wildlife by fostering agreement upon common strategies and messaging, creating a forum for the sharing of new ideas, and supporting collaboration. After a full day or talks and group activities, attendees were invigorated and inspired to return home with new solutions and connections. Now more than ever, our wildlife need champions. In this fight, we are stronger together.
Attendees at this Symposium represented the following agencies and organizations (click each logo to learn more):