Through the Reef Check California Program (RCCA), citizen scientists and Reef Check staff conduct SCUBA based surveys of rocky reefs and kelp forests in the North Central Coast MPAs and reference sites. Certified citizen scientists conduct shallow subtidal reef surveys for the baseline characterization of MPAs and monitor the density of key fish, invertebrates and algae indicator species. At additional survey sites the size frequency distributions of red abalone and urchins will be surveyed in collaboration with PISCO. RCCA will train volunteer citizen scientists in the study region to build capacity for long-term monitoring of MPAs after the completion of the baseline project.