July 23, 2009

Marine Life Protection Act

Questions are arising about the process here on the North Coast.

I (Jennifer Savage, your Humboldt chairperson) have been hired by the Ocean Conservancy to help implement the MLPA locally. You can contact me directly with questions via jsavage@oceanconservancy.org — but a good starting place is Surfrider’s MLPA blog.

Also, CalOceans, which includes links to the California Dept. of Fish and Game’s main site.

KHUM 104.3 FM recently featured the MLPA on Coastal Currents, a weekly feature hosted by Pete Nichols of Humboldt Baykeeper.

The short answer to the big question:

Will the Marine Life Protection Act “shut down” surfing, diving and other recreation?

No. One of the law’s goals is to improve study, education and recreation opportunities along our coast, recognizing the economic and cultural benefits ocean resources provide to local communities. Marine reserves and protected areas are often deliberately sited near public beaches and state parks to provide easy access for diving, kayaking, surfing, and research. On the North Central Coast, stakeholders have proposed the creation of five to seven small “no disturbance zones,” or special closures, which the Department of Fish and Game can designate outside the Marine Life Protection Act to protect bird and mammal breeding grounds and haul-outs. There are no plans at this time to designate special closures on the South Coast.

February 24, 2009 | 1 Comment

Artificial reef in Humboldt?

From the Bay District‘s upcoming agenda:

10.    New Business

  1. Consideration of Resolution 2009-3 in support of the California Ships to Reefs concept of establishing an artificial reef in the waters off of Humboldt Bay.
  1. Consideration of establishment of a North Coast Local-Interest Marine Protected Area Work Group

The Bay District (aka Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District) meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Woodley Island Meeting Room.