How Can I Help?

There are many ways to help our coast and ocean. This page has links to volunteer activities, tips on how your everyday choices can support a healthy coast and ocean, and ways to help our programs.

Photo by Richard P. Hoppe
Egret in Flight, Buena Vista Lagoon, Carlsbad
Photo © Richard P. Hoppe

Take the Coastal Stewardship Pledge!

Get involved with coastal activities
Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.

Learn about marine debris
Read about the effects of marine debris and how your everyday choices can either reduce or exacerbate the problem.

Learn about ocean acidification
Learn about what's causing ocean acidification, why it's a problem, and actions you can take to help.

Practice proper tide pooling etiquette
Did you know that there is a “correct” way to go tide pooling? You can follow some simple rules to keep yourself and the tide pool creatures safe and happy:

  • Watch where you step. Step only on bare rock or sand.
  • Don’t touch any living organisms. Most tide pool animals are protected by a coating of slime. Touching them with dry hands can damage these animals.
  • Don’t poke or prod tide pool animals with a stick. Don’t attempt to pry animals off of rocks.
  • Leave everything as you found it (or cleaner by picking up any garbage you come across). Collecting organisms will kill them and is illegal in most tide pools.
  • Safely observe wildlife
    Read important information about observing coastal wildlife.

    Choose your seafood wisely
    Declining fish populations are an increasing problem in today’s fishing industry. If you are a seafood lover, find out how you can help manage our marine resources. Become an educated consumer and discover which fish species have healthy populations.

    Learn about oil spills
    Learn about the 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, how oil spills harm the environment, and what you can do to help.

    Practice clean and green boating habits
    The Boating Clean and Green Program is an education and outreach program that promotes environmentally sound boating practices to marine business and boaters in California. The program is conducted by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission.

    Help restore coastal habitat
    The Coastal Commission's Community-Based Habitat Restoration Program at Upper Newport Bay in Orange County has volunteer opportunities available weekly.

    Learn more
    Learn more ways to help the ocean on the Thank You Ocean website.

    Support the Coastal Commission's Public Education Program
    Provide financial support for the Commission's education programs and our Whale Tail Grants program with the following actions.