Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marine Protected Areas in California

This Thursday, May 14, the California Fish and Game Commission is holding a public hearing in Sacramento regarding a soon-to-be-enacted network of "marine protected areas" and the state's Marine Life Protection Act. This Thursday is a critical day for the public and stakeholders to voice exactly how and to what extent we want our coastline protected.

Frankly I think that conservation groups have done a terrible job at promoting the Marine Protected Areas, partly because there are several different proposals being considered, some more conservationist than others, some more friendly to commercial and sports fishing interests. It's a mix of proposals and counter-proposals and no one is making it really clear what means what. However, the "Integrated Preferred Alternative" - more info here - will actually protect the coast more than any other and create a network of "underwater Yosemites":

Although as a surfer and fisherman I feel emotionally torn and frustrated about closing certain coastal areas to local sports fishing and abalone diving - ab diving is already one of the most heavily state-regulated ocean activities in California - the harsh truth is: our local ocean, fish and coastline are in serious decline, there are less fish in California coastal waters than ever before, and we must do EVERYTHING in our power to protect coastal sea life and its ecosystems and habitats.

Support the "Integrated Preferred Alternative" Marine Protected Areas in California. The "IPAs" guarantee total protection for coastal sea life and habitat. Go to Sacramento tomorrow, May 14, and voice your concerns. More info at To travel to Sacramento tomorrow for the public hearing you can contact Paul Hobi at