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March 26, 2012

1st Marine Protected Area Watch Group Hits the Beach Running at the Tijuana River Mouth

Girl Scout Troop 5912 from San Ysidro, California
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Girl Scout Troop 5912 proud of the Tijuana River Mouth MPA!

Girl Scouts from San Ysidro love their Marine Protected Areas (MPA), and working hard to protect it! 

Citizen science data collection has begun as part of the new “MPA Watch” program developed by WiLDCOAST.  We encourage you, your family, school group, and community association to sign up as MPA Watch stewards in support of San Diego’s 11 newly established MPAs.  Please contact WiLDCOAST program coordinator Diane Castaneda for more information about the MPA Watch program, the locations where you can volunteer, and how to sign up and participate: diane@wildcoast.net or 619-423-8665 x 207

The MPA Watch program has officially started!

Girl Scouts troop 5912 from San Ysidro, California, spent their Saturday morning cleaning up the beach at the newly established Tijuana River Mouth, MPA in Imperial Beach.

Irene Barajas, 18 Girl Scouts, and their parents started the MPA Watch cleanup with a Spanish language discussion led by Diane Castaneda from WiLDCOAST, about the importance of protecting and restoring San Diego’s coast through the new Marine Protected Areas network. After the discussion the girls hit the beach at the south end of Seacoast Dr. with their buckets and gloves, to pick up everything from pieces of styrofoam to plastic bags.

Girl Scouts said “It's important to pick up even the tiniest bits of garbage because sea turtles or even seagulls can eat small plastic pieces, because they mistake it for food.”   These girls were not afraid to get their gloves dirty and climb over rocks to get to the trash.  Check out our pictures below.

While most of the troop focused on picking up trash, two girls documented MPA visitor activities and the amounts of trash collected.

Thank you very much to Girl Scout Troop 5912 for their ongoing devotion to environmental conservation, and for being WiLDCOAST’s 1st MPA Watch group at the Tijuana River Mouth, MPA.