An opportunity to ask questions and discuss proposals for the Marine Protected Area Baseline Program, where bidders can get funding to collect data on the economic and ecological conditions of North Coast oceans, will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Crescent City Harbor office.
Bidders interested in participating in the North Coast MPA Baseline Program are encouraged to attend the discussion session.
More than $4 million has been allocated to study the economic and environmental conditions of the North Coast at the outset of the landmark Marine Protected Areas, which prohibit certain activities, mainly fishing and harvesting, in certain California coastal areas in order to restore fish populations.
"The discussion sessions provide opportunities for the community to learn about the Baseline Program Request for Proposals process and potentially develop partnerships with scientists developing Baseline Program project proposals," said local biologist Zack Larson, who serves as the liaison for Del Norte for the Baseline program.
Partnerships between commercial fishermen and scientists to collect data have been frequently discussed as an ideal way for baseline data to be obtained.
"An example of a partnership could be a project proponent needing specific fish or habitat data for a study works with local expertise to achieve that purpose," Larson said.
"This is yet another opportunity for the community to meet the Monitoring Enterprise team and learn about the Baseline Program, a program that will set the bar for long-term MPA monitoring," Larson said.
That monitoring could mean long-term funding, and North Coasters are encouraged to capitalize on the opportunity.
Baseline monitoring will put a significant emphasis on ecological knowledge of local tribes.