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Gearing Up for another season of Sealife Stewards

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017

MORRO BAY Basking in the glow of their first successful summer season as guardians of the bay, the Morro Bay State Park SeaLife Stewards are gearing up for the 2017 season.

SeaLife Stewards began last year to begin to help visitors and locals who take part in recreation on the bay better understand about how to behave with the wildlife that resides in Morro Bay waters.

Kayakers, boaters, and hikers around the bay are apt to meet up with a variety of wildlife including many of the 200 species of birds that frequent the area and sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters. It is important that people realize that wildlife visiting Morro Bay are here to rest up and feed while on their migratory journeys. Getting too close to any of them can cause stress and could even cause the animals to leave without getting the proper rest and food. Thus, the creation of the SeaLife Stewards.

Stewards go out in kayaks, paddle around, and engage others on the bay explaining all kinds of facts about the wildlife and encourage people to keep their distance.

The program looks for 25 volunteers to come forth each year for appropriate training. Recruitment starts now! As a SeaLife Steward you will learn about local marine life and how to protect them while kayaking in Morro Bay. You will also get good kayak safety training. Ability to swim is necessary and although it is unlikely that you will ever fall out of your kayak, you will need to know how to get back in should that occur.

Volunteer season runs from May 27th through September 4th. Trained SeaLife Stewards go out in pairs and spend several hours on the water. Two weekend shifts per month are required. People interested in volunteering can learn more or sign up at SeaLifeStewards@gmail.com or call (805) 772-6105.

The SeaLife Steward program is sponsored by California State Parks, the Seabird Protection Network, Central Coast State Park Foundation, and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program.

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