For nearly 40 years I have called the Central Coast my home. And as a career geologist, author, artist and sportsman, the ocean has been an integral part of my life.
I have followed the debate regarding a proposed marine sanctuary for the Central Coast. I understand the concerns of Morro Bay and Port San Luis, as well as the fishing industry. Fishing is an integral part of our local heritage and economy. We need a healthy fishing industry, and we also need a healthy ocean.
Our oceans are in a state of distress. Increasing global temperatures are impacting the ocean environment. Migratory patterns are changing and algae blooms are poisoning shellfish. Noise pollution is disrupting animal behavior and hazardous chemicals are entering the food chain. The list goes on.
We know less about the ocean floor than we know about the surface of the moon. To deal with the problems facing our oceans requires long-term planning, vision and coordination. More than can be managed by a local harbor district, the county or even the state.
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I have observed the impacts of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary to our north and the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary to our south. I believe they both have enhanced the quality and health of the marine environment. Tourism is flourishing, and the fishermen are fishing.
Our best bet to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations is a marine sanctuary for the Central Coast.
Rob Mohle, Avila Beach