Dear Shark Team,

Here is a brief March update.

We had a huge Shark Stewards team turnout for the Ocean Film Festival with at least 16 volunteers supporting our work. We reached thousands of people, premiered our new film Alice in Borneo Wonderland, collected 100s of signatures to support the Marine National Monuments Campaign and sold a lot of T shirts. Thanks to Jenny Zhou for coordinating and motivating the team, and all of the support!

MPA

I am still working in LA after a great week on Catalina Island at the State MPA conference. Representing the Golden Gate MPA Collaborative which includes Marin and San Francisco Counties, I met with the other Collaborative Co-Chairs and strategized, shared information and planned how to continue supporting our MPAs, sharing scientific knowledge and monitoring.
Located at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, the 3 day workshop ended each day with a swim or snorkel in Big Fisherman’s Cove, one of the state’s 124 MPAs. I demonstrated our Trident ROV donated by OpenROV to monitor MPAs and as an assessment tool. We saw many fish inside the reserve including the iconic Golden State fish the, bright orange Garabaldi, and a few MPA mermen and mermaids.

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San Francisco Zoo

Swimming with sharks
I was able to complete my Polar Bear swim here in So Cal in 57 degree water sans wetsuit, although the last 6 miles were at Seal Beach near my Mom’s. Located near a river mouth, the plastic reaching the beach is appalling, and I spent an hour cleaning up 35 pounds of butts, straws, bottle caps and other plastic before swimming.

Citizen Science Workshop

I will be presenting this weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific Citizen Science conference on using the ROV as a monitoring tool. We have used it to look at eelgrass beds in the San Francisco Bay and in MPAs like the Southeast Farallon Islands. We will be using the ROV to look for pattern recognition in sharks.  You can check our expedition page and follow as we add observations. We will be using the ROV in our Vessel Watch program this year, and in Malaysia this summer.

Searching For the Blues
On Sunday Im joining friend and board member Jeff Morrison on an open water blue shark dive to film these elusive and increasingly threatened species.  Watch for updates on our social media and please amplify and share, especially the SharkStewards facebook page.

Team Event April 12
Due to an important donor event, we have changed the team Meet Up to April 12 at the Sports Basement Presidio. Please join me and the core team, learn about upcoming events you can participate in (including the Berkeley Bay Festival April 14, and the upcoming Earth Day events.)
We are invited to participate at more events I can personally attend -a good problem-and are supporting independent Shark Steward outreach teams. Outreach leaders are needed!

As always, we couldn’t do the work we do without your passion and energy.  Sharks need our love. Lets give it in the water and in the legislature.

See you soon,
David