California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Passed and Implemented by the State
This California State law created a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within “State” waters but failed to recognize the unceded Tribal gathering rights and customary uses in these same waters. This lack of acknowledgement catalyzed inter-Tribal advocacy on the North Coast.
Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Baseline Monitoring
The State funded MPA baseline monitoring projects. Tribal advocacy and collaboration was involved in several of these projects, particularly on the North Coast, including within the rocky intertidal, sandy beach, and estuarine habitats, and as part of an Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) project.
Learning Exchanges with Successful International Indigneous Marine Programs
Several founding TMSN Tribal representatives participated in learning exchanges with established Indigenous marine conservation programs in British Columbia, Canada; Queensland, Australia (pictured); and within the States of Hawaii and Washington. These exchanges provided inspiration and examples of successful models from which to guide efforts to develop the TMSN.
Co-Creating a New Space for Tribally-Led Marine Management
In March 2020, Tribes led a convening to co-create a strategic pathway to advancing Tribal co-management. This event established an early framework for the TMSN pilot. Participants included representatives from all of the four founding TMSN Tribes, the CA Ocean Protection Council, CA Fish and Game Commission, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ecotrust, and CIEA.
Tribal Marine Stewards Network Pilot
With funding from the CA Ocean Protection Council, the four founding Tribes commenced the TMSN pilot marine monitoring projects and Tribal community engagement activities. Tribal community engagement activities included ethnographic interviews, youth camps, beach surveys, program outreach, and workshops.
Shared Training and Other Network Collaboration
A value in the design of the TMSN is leveraging expertise, resources, and working collaboratively to enhance Tribal stewardship. One example is shared training and monitoring collaboration within the TIDES (Tribal Intertidal Digital Ecological Surveys) project.
TMSN First Annual Meeting
The TMSN convened its first Annual Meeting in 2022 to finalize a Memorandum of Agreement that identifies the organizational framework and decision-making body for the Network, as well as a Strategic Plan to chart the path forward.
Public Launch and Next Steps
In October 2022, the TMSN held a launch event to publicly announce the Network and website. Additional funding support is provided by the State and philanthropic organizations to sustain the founding four Tribes for three years. Work continues for a fifth Tribe to be brought into the TMSN.