Letters to the Editor

Marine sanctuaries preserve ecosystems, bring economic benefits

Lois Capps introduces San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx during a presentation at the foot of the Pismo Pier on the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary on May 2. Behind them are Matiwaiya, ceremonial elder, and Luhui Ishi, cultural resources and education director, both with Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation.
Lois Capps introduces San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx during a presentation at the foot of the Pismo Pier on the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary on May 2. Behind them are Matiwaiya, ceremonial elder, and Luhui Ishi, cultural resources and education director, both with Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Congresswoman Lois Capps’ strong endorsement of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary ensures its eventual approval.

The waters off the Central Coast deserve protection for many reasons. They contain a blend of northern and southern ocean currents, wind, animals and plants that makes the area ideal for studying climate change. Research projects in marine sanctuaries are given extra points. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has over 25 projects with an annual combined budget of over $120 million. Along with the regular benefits of a sanctuary (600 jobs and $23 million annual income), this will help to replace the tax revenue of the soon-to-be-closed Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Last year, the BBC wanted to do a series on the theme “miracle of nature.” Of all the places in the world, they chose the Monterey Bay sanctuary and documented in “Big Blue Live” how an area that had been made into an ocean desert by overfishing (think Cannery Row) was able to revive and now has a thriving ecosystem.

Sanctuaries use ecosystem-based management. They allow for such projects as green energy, so long as they demonstrate no significant harm to the ecosystem. You can support the sanctuary at www.chumashsanctuary.com

David Georgi, Shell Beach

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