Vital to the success of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is biological and ecological research, particularly research that improves our understanding of determining the success of MPA designation. Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) is particularly important as we move away from simply protecting intertidal populations and move towards understanding how these ecosystems function so that we can better understand how to efficiently conserve our coasts. Without experimental research and monitoring, the effectiveness of MPAs could not be studied.
Laguna Ocean Foundation Research Programs
The foundation has been actively completing a resource assessment of the intertidal areas of the 7.12 miles of coastline in Laguna Beach. The assessment is hoped to provide a better understanding of local intertidal habitat in order to guide future education programs, policy and management plans.
Laguna Coast Shorebird Survey
In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, Point Reyes Bird Observatory and through the support and hard work of many volunteers associated with the local chapter of the Sea and Sage Audubon Society the foundation is conducting a long-term study of shorebirds and their use of local coastal habitats. Recognizing that Lagunaís beaches and tide pools are vital habitats for over 100 bird species, the Laguna Coast Shorebird Survey captures quarterly data on the numbers and species of shorebirds sighted at specific locations along the coast. Now in its sixth year, the Shorebird Survey owes its success to the programís skilled and dedicated volunteers.