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December 03, 2010

Be Part of an Ocean Legacy on December 15!

California’s opportunity to protect our ocean for the future hinges on ONE LAST meeting and YOUR VOICE!
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Images by Dana Roeber Murray
On October 20th, more than 700 students, teachers, scientist, fishermen, surfers, divers and business leaders came to San Diego to urge the California Fish and Game Commission for a strong network of MPAs in Southern California.  But is not over yet!

Attend the historic Fish and Game Commission meeting and speak out in support of establishing marine protected areas in Southern California. 

What: Fish and Game Commission - South Coast Adoption Hearing

 When: December 15, 2010

Where: Hotel Mar Monte

1111 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara.

The ocean has giving us so much, now is time to give back!

Thanks to a landmark law called the Marine Life Protection Act, we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a network of “underwater parks” along our coast. These marine protected areas will be safe havens where fish and other wildlife can thrive.

Why do we need Marine Protected Areas?

The world’s ocean is overfished, overpolluted, and underprotected! While 11.5% of land on earth is protected, less than 1% of the planet’s ocean is protected.

It’s not just the current BP oil spill disaster that is taking a toll on our ocean, aside from ocean acidification, pollution, and climate change, we are losing crucial habitats:

• White abalone are on the verge of extinction

• Federal regulators issued emergency Rockfish closures in 2002

• Fish size declined 45% along the West Coast in the last 21 years

• 75% of California's kelp forests have disappeared since the 1960s

• 90% of the big fish that existed in the 1950s are gone

Our ocean needs protection from the increasing impacts of human activities. MPAs can help.

By creating a network of marine protected areas along the California coast, we can safeguard marine life against human-caused and environmental changes.  At the same time, we will be safeguarding the jobs and businesses that depend on California’s precious marine resources.

Marine Protected Areas work. MPAs have been proven to be an effective tool for improving ocean health around the world where MPAs have already been established like Spain, the Philippines, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, among other countries.

Marine protected areas allow fish, and other marine life to breed, feed, and thrive without human impact. Populations living within the MPAs can also seed neighboring waters where harvest is allowed, providing benefits to both fishermen and predators with availability of food.

MPAs can ensure that a healthy marine life will be here for your children and grandchildren to enjoy!

This is the time to make your voice heard to the Commission, so please write a lettermake a phone call or come to the meeting December 15 in Santa Barbara, and be the voice of ocean conservation! For more information please contact Diane Castaneda, Marine Conservation Program Coordinator at diane@wildcoast.net