By Anna Neumann, Reef Check California North Coast Manager
My name is Anna Neumann and I have been given the amazing opportunity to be the new North Coast Regional Manager for Reef Check California. I grew up playing in the waves in central California and have always had a deep passion for the ocean. I was able to intertwine my love and fascination for the water and my education by receiving my Bachelors of Science in Oceanography with an emphasis in Scientific Diving from Humboldt State University in 2013. I first started diving with Reef Check through the Humboldt State Scientific Diving program and was delighted to be able to count exactly how many sea stars or abalone I saw on every dive. Upon graduating from Humboldt State I moved to Playa del Carmen, Mexico and became a PADI Open Water Instructor. After nearly a year of teaching, diving and living in Mexico I traded in my 3mm wetsuit for a 10mm and moved back to California to work with Reef Check.
Ocean conservation has always been a passion of mine and I am excited to be a part of a program that is working to collect data that informs marine management and conservation by involving the public in the scientific process. I am stoked to be back diving such a remote coastline and monitoring the north coast marine protected areas (MPAs).
As part of being the North Coast Regional Manager, I plan to increase the number of survey sites as well as our network of volunteers in this region. In December 2012 about 13 percent of the northern California coastline was designated as MPAs covering 137 square miles. Currently, Reef Check surveys three sites in Mendocino County. As part of the MPA baseline monitoring program, Reef Check is planning to monitor an additional 8 sites inside and outside of these MPAs. This will allow us to characterize the ecosystem and compare the data from reefs that are protected to those which are not. Two of the new sites, Big Flat and Shelter Cove, will be in Humboldt County while the remaining sites – Westport, Pacific Star, North Casper Cove, South Casper Cove, Pt Cabrillo and Russian Gulch – are in Mendocino County. One site I am particularly excited about is Casper Cove; the southern side of the cove is closed to urchin fishing while the northern side remains open. We plan to survey both sides of the cove and hopefully obtain interesting information on the effects of urchins on the ecosystem.
I am excited to move forward on this project and meet all of the amazing Reef Check volunteers along the way. If you have any questions about surveying or diving along the north coast, please feel free to contact me via email email@example.com or follow this link to our north coast survey schedule.
|Pacific Star Winery’s coastline
|Abalone along a transect
|Pt Cabrillo looking north