Become a Certified Wildlife Steward!
About Community Active Wildlife Stewards
Sea Otter Savvy is partnering with Respect Wildlife, and Central California coastal communities to offer an innovative and exciting recognition program for businesses and others demonstrating exceptional wildlife stewardship-- the Community Active Wildlife Stewards (CAWS) group and certification program. Designed to encourage voluntary adherence to responsible wildlife viewing guidelines, this certification system will offer rewards to commercial operators, organizations, school groups, and individuals who, having demonstrated compliance with a clear set of criteria promoting and encouraging respectful coastal wildlife viewing, will be recognized as "Certified Wildlife Stewards". Participants will receive certification "swag" featuring one or all of our multi-species designs to display proudly in their shop, visitor's center, on their boat, or digitally on their website or social media accounts.
Additional participation benefits:
- Reviews on Trip Advisor and Google
- Promotion on websites and social media
- Inclusion/promotion in wildlife-related media projects and press releases
Community Active Wildlife Stewards is a program rooted in the central coast community. The framework has been developed and reviewed with the participation of local stakeholders (our founding members) in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. Community participants (and applicants) have a voice in building on the current framework and adapting it to best serve both wildlife and businesses. At the intersection of that which benefits busineses with that which benefits wildlife, is a place that benefits an inclusive coastal community.
Our goal with the participation rewards system will be to not only encourage not only sea otter savvy, but wildlife savvy behavior within the community, but create an atmosphere of consumer choice, encouraging all commercial groups within a region to join Community Active Wildlife Stewards and apply for certification. Certification of commercial operators will include such elements as:
- Presentation of information/guidelines to customers prior to tour or gear rental
- Display of informational graphics where customers can view them
- Compliance with guidelines for avoiding disturbance, and established laws protecting designated species
- Participation in an educational workshop showcasing wildlife behavior, natural history, conservation, defining harassment and disturbance and presenting Community Active Wildlife Stewards' guidelines for responsible viewing
Meet our certified participants! You can reward their stewardship by patronizing these sea otter (and wildlife) savvy businesses and recommending them to others!
See Mary talk about their customer education strategies at the 2020 California Coastal Wildlife Distrubance Symposium!
Certified January 2020
Certified July 2021
Join the team!
Do you want to become a Certified Wildlife Steward? Click here to view the checklist of participation criteria to become a certified participant in this community-based program. You can review the Community Active Wildlife Stewards Draft Program Framework here. The Framework is intended to be a dynamic document that will continue to evolve as the group incorporates feedback and new program elements and so will always be in "draft" form.