Everybody is interested in the proposed Central Coast national marine sanctuary.
A month ago, the government announced that it would begin the process of naming the recipients. National Marine Sanctuary Chumash heritageThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationIt is currently seeking public opinion.
- Photo by Robert Schwemmer, NOAA
- LAND PROTECTIONS A proposed national marine sanctuary along the Central Coast would extend from mid-Santa Barbara County to Cambria.
In a Nov. 9 statement, NOAA stated that the designation of a Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would “protect the region’s marine ecosystem, maritime heritage resources and cultural values of Indigenous peoples while allowing NOAA manage compatible uses within its borders.”
The announcement was made by the office of the U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, who expressed strong support for the potential designation.
NOAA will host three public scoping meetings to get more information from local residents and stakeholders. Multiple speakers supported the sanctuary at a meeting held Dec. 13. They spoke out for the protection of Chumash sites and for the environment benefits it would bring.
“This region is extremely biodiverse and is a well-known biological hotspot. … It is home to many endangered animals,” Kristen Hislop, senior director of the marine program at the Environmental Defense Center. “It is, however, a region that is being threatened by climate change as are many others, as well as other industrial uses, such as oil and gas production.”
According to NOAA there is also an economic advantage.
Carbajal’s office released a statement saying that the marine resources of the region include feeding grounds to many species, including dolphins and whales, as well as sea otter population and kelp forests. The region also hosts vital commercial and recreational fisheries. According to NOAA, these resources are vital to California’s $1.9 trillion coast economy and support $731 billion in wages.
However, others expressed concern over increased regulations at the public scoping session.
Claire Wineman, the editor of the Observer, said that Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo were already among the most regulated counties in California. This makes it very difficult, particularly when we’re trying to grow local food with other states such as Arizona and Florida. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Grower-Shipper Association.
Owen Hackleman, a commercial fisherman who has been fishing out of Morro Bay since 12 years, said that the Monterey is also a marine sanctuary.He is concerned about the impact on the commercial fishing industry in that country.
“We have both state and federal agencies that manage sustainable and well-managed fisheries.” [standards]Hackleman said, “We’re really proud of it.” “… It’s clear that we have seen the results. [Monterey Bay]The National Marine Sanctuary Management doesn’t always keep its word. It can’t influence fisheries policy or management.
Hackleman stated that he would like to see “extremely strong language” to ensure that the sanctuary is allowed to move forward.
The process towards sanctuary designation just begins: Public scoping meetings represent step one. Four steps. Jan. 6 will be the next public hearing. Register to attend the meeting at sanctuaries.noaa.gov/chumash-heritage.