Morro Bay State Park seeking volunteers in kayaks and stand-up paddle boards
–Morro Bay State Park is looking for volunteers who love to kayak and stand-up paddle (SUP) board. The SeaLife Stewards program is beginning this May 2021 and encouraging paddle recreating nature-lovers to fill out an application.
This program will be following all COVID-19 safety guidelines by requiring a 6-foot distance from others, mask-wearing while on land, and sanitizing of hands and shared equipment. On three Saturdays in May (1, 8, and 22) SeaLife Stewards will receive two four-hour synchronous virtual sessions, one 4.5 hour in-water training and evaluation, and three hours of asynchronous self-study. The training by subject matter experts includes how to prevent wildlife disturbance, recording community science data, boating safety, and how to identify wildlife and share relevant information with kayakers, surfers, boaters, and stand-up paddleboarders.
“Morro Bay State Park is celebrating the sixth year of the SeaLife Stewards program,” says Interpretive Program Manager Cara O’Brien. “SeaLife Stewards are out there every weekend during the summer, having fun and making a difference in the success of wildlife. 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.”
Many of the local species of wildlife that are in Morro Bay are sensitive to casual repeated disturbance by watercraft. 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.
Benefits to becoming a California State Park SeaLife Stewards include; ongoing training, volunteer appreciation events, kayaking, and behind-the-scenes field trips. SeaLife Stewards must be able to swim and kayak. SUP 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, contact Robin Hazard at SeaLifeStewards@gmail.com or call (805) 712-4776.