All words by the author, adapted from an Office of National Marine Sanctuaries weekly Situation Report.
California Sea Grant state Sea Grant fellow with CINMS helps facilitate Mendocino MPA Collaborative ROV training
The Marine Protected Area MPA Collaborative Network (MPACN), a California-based umbrella organization, representing fourteen collaborative groups now active along the coast, carries out projects that answer local needs regarding MPAs. As such, the MPACN’s individual collaboratives have applied for Trident® Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) through Sofar’s S.E.E. Initiative grant program.
Based on previous experience with Sofar’s Tridents® (small, portable ROVs), I was asked to attend the Mendocino MPAC ROV training in Fort Bragg in late June, 2019. Representatives from local agencies (e.g. California State Parks) and nonprofits (e.g. Noyo Center and California Reef Check) spent the day learning how to operate and maintain the small ROVs, and discussed applications for use and engagement. Through conversations with stakeholders, partners, and staff from the MPACN and Sofar, plans are in development to use Tridents® coast-wide to broadcast “live dives” from within California’s national marine sanctuaries.
Stay tuned for more updates! And, be sure to check in on Sofar's Twitch page where future dives will be broadcasted. Special shout out to my host, and former lab mate, CA Reef Check's north coast manager Tristin McHugh (M.S.)!
Clockwise from top right: Two separate groups of participants get a chance to “fly” Tridents®; Sofar marketing director Zack Johnson successfully uses a cell-booster to broadcast a dive to Sofar’s HQ in the Bay Area; the author and a CA State Park employee test a Trident in the surf, Z. Johnson briefs participants before the dives. Photos: Z. Johnson, P. Spector, N. Palma
Pike Spector is currently a Research Operations Specialist with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary