Collaboration makes us stronger
One of the things that makes the Morro Bay National Estuary Program effective is our collaborative partnerships. By combining our strengths with those of our partners, we are able to expand our work in new directions and extend our reach to new people who can help keep Morro Bay and other waterways clean and heathy.
In 2018, Morro Bay National Estuary Program staff worked with members of the Statewide Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network to create an Marine Protected Area (MPA) Explorer’s Guide to introduce kids to the wonders of the California coastline. This full-color activity book invited kids to learn about the different habitats in California’s MPAs, including rocky reefs, estuaries, kelp forests, and more. It also introduced readers to common species of birds, fish, and marine mammals, and invited them to take part in protecting our natural resources by treating them with care.
In 2019, the Estuary Program provided funding to the San Luis Obispo MPA Collaborative to translate the Explorer’s Guide into Spanish, allowing more kids to learn about the natural world that surrounds us.
$100,000 grant funds updated MPA Coloring Book and Explorer’s Guide
In 2020, the Monterey and San Luis Obispo MPA Collaboratives received generous funding from the California Ocean Protection Council and Coastal Quest that allowed us to reimagine these resources. The updated coloring book includes all new illustrations of native species in their natural habitats, along with information about these fascinating animals in both English and Spanish. The updated MPA Explorer’s Guide includes new nature-journal-inspired pages.
3D Augmented reality coloring sheets: bilingual English and Spanish
The most exciting additions are two 3D augmented reality coloring sheets that feature a lingcod and a California two-spot octopus. You can color and then bring these animals to life using the free Quiver 3D Coloring App on a smartphone or tablet.
Color, then animate in the app
Use the pin feature to keep the 3D rendering in one place on your screen, then move your device up, down, and side to side to change your viewpoint. This allows you to see the animal from almost any angle, so you can watch the lingcod’s tail swish and the octopus’s tentacles extend and contract. You can even toggle between your imagined color scheme and the animal’s real-life colors.
Quiver app demonstration
The Quiver app also includes educational games and that allow you to experience the kelp forest and rocky reef habitats through the eyes of the octopus and lingcod as you help each animal find and eat its prey.
Where to find the bilingual MPA Coloring Book and MPA Explorer’s Guide
The generous grant funding also allowed us to print and distribute 39,200 copies of each book to each of the fourteen MPA Collaboratives along the California coast. Locally, you can find print copies of the books as long as supplies last in the Morro Bay National Estuary Program’s Nature Center and the Morro Bay State Park Natural History Museum.
The MPA Coloring Book and Explorer’s Guide are also available for free online in high-resolution PDFs. You can download each book as a whole and then print and photo copy the pages you like best. To make the experience official, once you finish the MPA Coloring Book or Explorer’s Guide, you and your junior MPA explorer can take an online quiz to earn a personalized MPA Steward Certificate! Find the quiz in English and Spanish here.
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Help us protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary!
- Donate to the Estuary Program today and support our work in the field, the lab, and beyond.
The Estuary Program is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We depend on funding from grants and generous donors to continue our work.
- Support us by purchasing estuary-themed gear from ESTERO. This locally owned and operated company donates 20% of proceeds from its Estuary clothing line and 100% of Estuary decal proceeds to the Estuary Program. Thank you, ESTERO!
- Purchase items from the the Estuary Program’s store on Zazzle. Zazzle prints and ships your items, and the Estuary Program receives 10% of the proceeds. Choose from mugs, hats, t-shirts, and even fanny packs (they’re back!) with our fun Estuary Octopus design or our Mutts for the Bay logo.
Thank you for helping our beautiful, bountiful, biodiverse bay!