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One of our volunteers surveying with MPA Watch

One of our volunteers surveying with MPA Watch


Thank you for taking an interest in The Otter Project’s volunteer page. Our initiatives would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of our Volunteers. Thank you for your support!

Ready to sign-up right away? Here is a shortcut to our Volunteer Sign-Up page


Current Programs: MPA Watch
What is MPA Watch and who runs the program?

If you enjoy walking on the beach and contributing to conservation then this is the volunteer opportunity for you!

As part of our effort to protect sea otter habitat, The Otter Project has been heavily involved with the formation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along California’s central coast. In order to foster compliance with the regulations of these MPAs, The Otter Project trains a network of volunteers to monitor resource use in and around MPAs from Año Nuevo State Park to Point Buchon in San Luis Obispo. Volunteers are trained to identify onshore and offshore ocean activities and collect data on resource use.


What are the requirements for becoming a Volunteer?

  • Volunteers should be over 18 years of age with reliable access to transportation.
  • Volunteers must be able to spend at least one hour outdoors in unpredictable central coast weather, not including travel time. Some monitoring sites require moderate hiking.
  • Volunteers will be asked to use basic field technology (binoculars, GPS, digital camera) and web tools ( and Google Docs).
  • Volunteers are asked to continually help improve and shape monitoring protocols and troubleshoot problems in the field.


What is expected of Volunteers?

  • Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 2 hours/week in the field for a 3 month period.
  • Volunteers must attend a training class and follow up check-in meetings every 6 – 8 weeks.
  • Once trained, volunteers’ monitoring sites are flexible but must be coordinated with other volunteers to avoid overlap.


Ready to sign-up? Here is a link to our Volunteer Sign-Up page