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Point Lobos. Photo by Kip F. Evans


A clean and healthy coastal environment is essential for survival and recovery of California’s sea otters.

The near-shore of the California coast looks pristine, but its ecological integrity is constantly under threat from human activities on land and in the ocean that are changing coastal and marine ecosystems.

For over a decade, The Otter Project has been working on two issues to increase protection and expansion of sea otter habitat, which are fundamental to recovery of the species.

Marine Protected Areas
Since passing of the Marine Life Protection Act in 1999, The Otter Project has supported the creation and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) increasing protection of critical sea otter habitat. To ensure compliance with the MLPA, we created MPA Watch to monitor these unique areas for human activity.

“No-Otter” Zone
The Otter Project has been working to bring an end to the translocation program and “No-Otter” Zone in Southern California. When the failed translocation program is terminated and the “No-Otter” Zone removed, southern sea otter’s will be able to reclaim the southern expanse of their historic range and regain full protection under the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts.

We’re also staying abreast of larger ocean issues that will have a significant impact on ocean and coastal habitats such as climate change, “dead zones” (hypoxic ocean areas), and ocean acidification. We want to determine what role, if any, sea otters may play in reversing them.

Lastly, The Otter Project believes adaptive and effective management of our resources is critical, and we are committed to advocating for ecosystem based management of coastal ecosystems which is concerned with the ecological integrity of coastal-marine systems and the sustainability of both human and ecological systems.