Humboldt and Del Norte MPA Collaborative

Jennifer SavageMarine Protected Areas

The Humboldt and Del Norte MPA Collaborative met July 24 at the Requa Inn to discuss the next steps of the planned video project with Humboldt State University, MPA enforcement trainings scheduled to take place in October, hosting a North Coast regional forum later in the year and developing logos for each Collaborative. In attendance were Calla Allison and Paul Hobi, director and community coordinator for the MPA Collaborative Implementation Project, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, HSU, Tolowa Dee-Ni’ (formerly Smith River Rancheria), the Humboldt Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, the Northcoast Environmental Center, Humboldt Office of Education and the Northern Region Water Quality Control Board.

Baseline Monitoring Studies
Before any of the planned agenda items could be addressed, however, Harbor District Commissioner Pat Higgins brought to the group’s attention the importance of ensuring results from the ongoing MPA baseline monitoring projects. He wants to see “the info disseminated and the community stay connected,” he said. Allison explained that Ocean Science Trust and the related Monitoring Enterprise will coordinate the data gathered during the baseline studies – which have one year left – and then that data will be shared with the community through a regional forum. Continued collection of data will be encouraged. Higgins stated that the Harbor District would continue to take the lead on dissemination and ongoing partnerships between area fishermen and scientists.

Enforcement Training
The enforcement trainings for Humboldt and Del Norte counties are scheduled to take place October 14 and 15. The trainings are designed to include all law enforcement personnel who may have site authority. The hope is that each county’s district attorney will attend as well – the Humboldt Collaborative is tasked with reaching out to D.A. Maggie Fleming.

North Coast Regional Forum

To better share information and accomplishments, an all-day North Coast Regional Forum is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 17. This will include the Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Collaboratives, all of which are creating videos as outreach tools. Ocean Science Trust will facilitate the forum, but will be there primarily in a “listening and supportive” role, according to Allison. Key topics will be outreach, education and enforcement.

North Coast Video Project – Concept
The Humboldt Marine Protected Area Collaborative is requesting a grant of $13,000 to engage diverse audiences in the North Coast community via the creation and distribution of a short, interview-based video. Through engaging local students and top notch filmmaking in the production of this video, we will offer a fresh perspective from previous videos that we believe will resonate with a local as well as statewide audience. We will work on incorporating tribal perspectives into the video with the Del Norte Collaborative, which has agreed to contribute $3,000 towards the project for a total request of $13,000.

North Coast Video Project – Details

Using a combination of HSU student filmmakers, high school film classes and paid crew, the collaborative will shoot original footage in diverse locations that focuses on telling two to three stories over approximately 10 minutes that explore students’ perceptions of what makes a healthy ocean and the roles marine protected areas play. Students will interview local fishermen, tribal elders, researchers and community members involved in the creation and management of marine protected areas. Interviews and footage will ultimately determine the content of the final product.

What makes this project unique is that the actual production of the video will concurrently serve as an excellent outreach tool itself. The plan is to bring students to coastal habitats where monitoring is taking place – tide pooling field trips to Patrick’s Point State Park near Trinidad, for example – and asking fishermen and other committed collaborative players about their understanding and points of view about ocean health and marine protected areas. Filmmakers will also work closely with tribal representatives to incorporate their perspectives, including interviews with tribal elders. Currently, the collaborative is pursuing formal authorization to interview tribal members as part of this project.

Utilizing existing contacts, collaborative members will work with students and teachers at multiple Humboldt County Schools.
Scheerer expects to film at multiple locations throughout the fall of 2015, and in addition to that original footage will also acquire footage from the North Coast MPA ROV survey and other available sources for both underwater and aerial views of our local MPA(s) with the assistance of Lighthawk.
Beginning in Spring, 2016, the video will be available for screening on two local access channels: APT Channel, and Access Humboldt. The video will be distributed online by the collaborative member organizations, and a local premiere will be planned at an Ocean Night film event in spring of 2016. It will be available to be shown in classrooms by local and statewide agencies. The Collaborative will submit the video to appropriate film festivals, including the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival and Beneath the Waves Film Festival.
Scheerer will make an effort to incorporate these videos into his larger projects that may be broadcast on PBS and other nationally distributed channels (researching rocky intertidal habitats and fish assemblages on nearshore rocky reefs). The fiscal sponsor will be Humboldt State University.
The Humboldt Collaborative will work with Del Norte Collaborative chair Rosa Laucci on interviewing tribal members from the Tolowa Dee’ni tribe and with Leisyka Parrott, an interpretive specialist at the Bureau of Land Management’s Arcata Field Office, who has been recognized nationally for excellence in her work educating youth about the public lands.
Scheerer has been producing, directing and writing award-winning internationally broadcast science and natural history documentaries for decades and teaches filmmaking at Humboldt State University. His credits include The California Environmental Legacy Project, Headwaters to a Continent, and Yellowstone: America’s Eden, among dozens of other nationally broadcast films.

Collaborative Co-Chairs

The Collaborative is co-chaired by Beth Chaton, Joe Tyburczy and Jennifer Savage, and is comprised of a cross-section of experts and stakeholders in Humboldt coastal issues representing a diversity of agencies, tribes, ocean businesses, fishing interests, and non profit organizations. Beth Chaton is the Humboldt County Office of Education Coordinator, After School Programs/Redwood Edventures and coordinates the annual Redwood Environmental Education Fair. Joe Tyburczy is a marine ecologist with California Sea Grant based in Eureka and is a co-principal investigator on two North Coast MPA Baseline Monitoring projects.

Jennifer Savage served on the Regional Stakeholder Group during the MLPA design process and continues to work on MPA-related issues and outreach.