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BLOG: A Gift to California's Coast

New Marine Protected Areas, like those created in Southern California, are established along the California-Oregon border.

Today's guest blogger is Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay's coastal resources director

Just in time for World Oceans Day, the Fish and Game Commission in a 3-0 vote, designated new marine protected areas (MPAs) along the North Coast (CA/OR border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County). This is a major milestone that completes the statewide network of underwater parks in California’s coastal waters.

These new MPAs were designated under the Marine Life Protection Act, a visionary law enacted in 1999 that called for a new approach to ocean management, and enlisted local fishermen, scientists, business and tribal leaders and conservationists to plan science-based protections for their part of the state. Heal the Bay played a major role in the creation of Southern California’s MPAs by sitting on a panel of stakeholders that designed our local set of underwater parks that went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year.

California’s network of underwater parks now includes 119 MPAs, five recreational management areas, and 15 special closures, representing about 16% of all open coast state waters. With only about half of these areas designated as no-take marine reserves, the vast majority of California’s coast is open to fishing. The new North Coast MPAs are expected to go into effect by early 2013.

As an investment to protect ocean health for future generations, MPAs safeguard key areas for marine life and their associated habitats. They will help ensure a vibrant coastal environment that delights visitors, supports local businesses, and makes local places, like Malibu Palos Verdes, and Catalina a great place to enjoy California’s coast and ocean.

With World Oceans Day just days away, Californians can be proud about the legacy we’re leaving for our kids and grandkids.

Visit the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium or join us on June 9 for the Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival to help celebrate.

Volunteer for our MPA Watch program to help monitor these new underwater parks.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Elizabeth June 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM
^^^ Thank you Wendi for summing it up. HTB, Surfrider and Baykeeper needs to get the hell out of the BUSINESS of beach keeping... They do nothing but watch out for their own agendas- anyone who thinks they have the ocean and our beaches best interests at heart are delusional at best. These groups are out to fill their pockets and protect their own interest ... period. Once upon a time they were something to believe in and suport- but not anymore. Here is a post by Julie to Andy Lyon today on fb... "Just looked at an old "Currents" magazine (they featured a story on my work back then) and glancing through it I found that in 2009, the California Coastal Commission gave Heal the Bay a gift of between $10,000 and $24,999." They buy each others support and throw our beaches under the bus in the process. These three groups have thrown their support behind bulldozing the Malibu lagoon although the city of Malibu is against it. We sit by and watch our lagoon raped by the state at the hands and support of these groups and the coastal commission. It is disgusting and should be criminal... Their support of this destruction was bought and paid for. Im biased I guess because I want to protect our lagoon and the animals and the health of the beachgoers- I dont care for these groups one single bit- they are sellouts!
Elizabeth June 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I wish there was a like button :) You are right on!
Another WorldView June 13, 2012 at 04:08 PM
The reality behind these sorts of sham "protection" or "enhancement" projects, is that they cost a bunch of money to acccomplish - talking about the Malibu Lagoon or Ballona Wetlands projects, more than MPA's. Someone has to supply the money. So in comes Edison or some other corporate destroyer, who not only get to - but HAVE TO - spend the money it takes to do these big projects. In the case of Edison, the intakes at San O' kill so-many fish, that they have to mitigate or remediate, and since they aren't about to shut down their reactors while there's still to be a glowing radioactive dollar to be made - they NEED to spend that money destroying your lagoon and surf break. And of course there are some overlaps between the Bay Restoration Commission's board and Edison's. Marcia Hanscome knows the details pretty well - which is why they try to keep her out of the meeting where these projects get discussed. While HTB has done some good in expanding awareness of the need to not throw butts (and motor oil, and other types of pollution) into the street, most of that is just common sense, which municipalities and the State could spread without them. The Bay got plenty of healing when the chroming factory in SM stopped dumping directly into Pico-Kenter; and what HTB is doing is simply 'gilding the lily', very expensively, and to the benefit of its paid staff and executives. As for MPA's - commercial factory-fishing is what depletes fisheries, not the little guy.
hellwood June 13, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Attention kids! if you have joined a CULT like Malibu Surfing Association, Heal the Bay, or Surfrider Foundation, please take a physics class, and use your own brains to analyze what is being put into your heads. read about who funds these organizations as well as enviro plans for your future like Agenda 21. your freedom is in the wrong hands. wake up. its not too late!
Andy Lyon June 14, 2012 at 03:03 PM
'cleaned up' ....is also a term to describe making a bunch of money. BRO

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