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April 19, 2013

La Jolla Light: "Preserving the coast"

Article on the La Jolla Light talking about the importance of preserving La Jolla's coast
La Jolla, CA

Preserving the Coast

La Jolla resident Ben McCue, conservation director of the nonprofit group, Wildcoast, also led a presentation on his organization’s efforts.

Wildcoast, whose mission is to preserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife, is currently involved in an effort to define the boundaries of 10 marine protected areas (MPAs), basically “underwater parks” located off the San Diego County coastline.

McCue said La Jolla’s MPAs are subject to some of the strongest environmental protections.

“The goal of marine protected areas is to help restore a lot of our lost (marine) abundance,” said McCue, whose grandmother resided in WindanSea during World War II, trading meat rations in exchange for abalone and lobster caught in La Jolla’s tide pools. That abundance no longer exists, he said, largely due to overfishing.

“There are areas of La Jolla that are now closed that for generations were open to fishing,” McCue said, noting a newly formed “imple- mentation collaborative” that allows local communities such as La Jolla to offer input as to how their MPAs are managed and enforced.

“It’s been shown across the world that the most effective MPAs are those that are supported by their local communities — and the biggest values of those MPAs are going back to the local communities,” he said.

For original article click here.