who were the same animal. I was a sea otter. We were taught a little about MPAs. MPAs are Marine
Protected Areas. There are different levels of protection. For example, all MPAs ban fishing. More
protected MPAs would ban swimming or diving, and extremely protected MPAs would ban boating in
Each of our tables had boxes with information on our animal. Our main objective was to find a good
area to serve as an MPA for our otters. Our boxes had charts and papers about sea otters and their diets
and population and the like. There was an interactive map of the ocean off the west coast of the US. It
showed the population of sea otters (and the other animals) in specific areas. We had an empty chart
in which we wrote the population of the sea otters in each section. Once we had written the current
population of the sites, we rolled a die to decide what would happen to each population. There was a
sheet that had different events for each number on the die.
When we finished our activity, a scientist who had studied sea grasses in the Caribbean came up and
gave a talk on sea grasses. Acres of sea grass can be clones of one organism. The scientist talked more in depth about MPAsand the difficulties of convincing fishermen to help. MPAs help protect and replenish the fish for fishing. They take a section of the ocean, and don’t let anyone fish, swim, dive, or boat in that area. In time, the fish in that area grow in population and then in size. Several years later, there is spillover: some fish go out of the protected area, and get caught by the fishermen. So by protecting one area of the ocean, fish are constantly being replenished.