In California, oil spill restoration funds have been used for long-term seabird protection. Healthy and thriving seabird populations are more capable of withstanding a catastrophic oil spill, and one of the best ways to support seabird populations is to protect breeding and roosting sites from human disturbance.
The overarching vision of the Seabird Protection Network (Network) is resilient seabird populations flourishing throughout the coastal and near-shore waters of California. The mission of the Network is to help seabirds thrive by informing management and coastal and ocean users how activities, like low-flying aircraft, close-approaching watercraft and coastal visitors can disturb seabirds, which can lead to a reduction in the long-term population size and survivability of affected populations of marine wildlife. These efforts are accomplished through an organized outreach program combined with management actions and enforcement of wildlife disturbance regulations.
The structure of the Network is modeled on the Audubon Society that uses Chapters to function in designated geographic areas. By establishing Network Chapters, different projects throughout the state participate in a framework that facilitates collaboration, sharing of information, lessons learned, and outreach materials. This framework provides leverage and builds greater support for the Network, and creates an identity that can be recognized state-wide, thus furthering the goal of minimizing disturbance to marine wildlife. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, who manages the founding Chapter, facilitates program expansion and incorporates additional Chapters throughout the coastal and near-shore waters of California as they develop.
This document and subsequent Appendices provide a pathway to successfully develop a new Network Chapter. The principle components of this document are presented in Developing a Seabird Protection Network Chapter. Additionally, Appendices I - IV provide detailed information on establishing a new Chapter, including a summary of seabird-related laws and regulations that help protect seabirds and other marine wildlife.