Your headline caption in the May 27 issue, “Volunteer Tidepool Cops Wanted,” is catchy, but misleading and incorrect.
The wonderful members of the Laguna Ocean Foundation tidepool docent program are not “cops.” The tidepool docents are caring citizens who volunteer their time and talents to help educate all beach visitors about the eco-system that is Laguna’s tidepools, the creatures which inhabit it, and the marine protection rules which protect it and our coastline. They have no official enforcement role.
Naturally, we would expect all Laguna citizens to report any MPA violations they might see to the appropriate authorities and our docents are no different. The docents’ role, however, is to empower our citizens and the general public to take ownership and protect this valuable and irreplaceable resource. It is clear that their presence on the beaches of Laguna actually help prevent the majority of violations from ever happening.
Laguna Ocean Foundation wishes you had used the more appropriate headline from your online edition, “Explore Tidepools as a Tidepool Docent” instead.
Louise Thornton, Laguna Beach