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Environment

California State Parks seeking volunteers who kayak, stand-up paddle board to protect wildlife in Morro Bay

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MORRO BAY, Calif. - California State Parks is looking for volunteers who love to kayak and stand-up paddle board to join their SeaLife Stewards program this spring.

The program will take place over the course of three Saturdays during May (May 1, 8 and 22).

SeaLife Stewards will undergo training with experts on how to prevent ocean wildlife disturbance, record community science data, boating safety, and how to identify wildlife and share relevant information with kayakers, surfers, boaters, and stand-up paddle boarders.

“Morro Bay State Park is celebrating the sixth year of the SeaLife Stewards program. SeaLife Stewards are out there every weekend during the summer, having fun and making a difference in the success of wildlife," said Interpretive Program Manager Cara O’Brien. "They help people to understand why keeping a respectful distance from wildlife is important. This year we are excited to add an expanded sea otter training. Join us for this fun and successful volunteer program on the waters of Morro Bay.”

State Parks explained many of the ocean wildlife in Morro Bay are sensitive to repeated disturbance by watercraft. The SeaLife Stewards will learn to share safe viewing distance guidelines for Southern sea otters, harbor seals, California sea lions, and the birds that rely on Morro Bay for food, shelter, and a resting place during migration.

The program includes four-hour synchronous virtual sessions, a 4.5 hour in-water training and evaluation, and 3 hours asynchronous self-study.

Benefits to becoming a California State Park SeaLife Steward include ongoing training, volunteer appreciation events, kayaking and behind-the-scenes field trips.

SeaLife Stewards must be able to swim and kayak. Stand-up paddle boarders must bring their own SUP board. A minimum commitment of two shifts a month (four hours per shift) is expected.

For more information and to submit an application you can contact Robin Hazard at SeaLifeStewards@gmail.com or call 805-712-4776.

Animals / Lifestyle / Outdoors / San Luis Obispo County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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