Great to see a cover story on the Marine Life Protection Act (“Two If By Sea,” June 25). The more people know about it, the more people are likely to participate in the process of establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPA).
As I emphasized to Heidi Walters, the hope is that through such participation, any economic impact to the fishing community will be minimized. As a North Coast resident, this is especially important to me personally. Most of the complaints from other sections of the coast stem from a lack of participation on the part of the complainants. I, along with other members of the conservation community, hope we can avoid the polarization that’s happened to varying degrees elsewhere and come together to uphold the law through the best possible MPA designations.
Protecting both the ocean and the economy is possible, as long as all the stakeholders participate. Using Ecotrust’s data — and that’s “eco” for economy, not ecology, by the way — regional stakeholder groups were able to scale down “worst-case” economic impact to a projected 6.3 percent, nearly half that of the Central Coast. Again, without participation, that success would not have been possible.
I look forward to further discussion regarding all these issues.
Jennifer Savage, Ocean Conservancy North Coast Coordinator