Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One of the Last Chances to Provide Input on Maps for Marine Protected Areas

The MLPA Regional Stakeholder Group (the people tasked with making the maps for protected areas) is entering into “Round 3 of map making”. After Round 3, the proposed maps will be given to the Blue Ribbon Taskforce and ultimately forwarded to the Fish & Game Commission for adoption into law. The time to provide input on where you want Marine Protected Areas is now! The Surfrider Foundation has been obtaining information from our supporters through our survey. Please complete the survey by Aug 1st, if you haven't already.

We plan on sharing the information we have gathered with the Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG) in order to help them create maps that reflect what local communities want!!

There are only a few more important MLPA meetings happening throughout the summer and fall. On July 28-29th The Blue RIbbion Taskforce will be meeting in Santa Monica. And on August 3rd and 4th, the RSG will be coming to San Diego (Carlsbad area).

If you are interested in testifying about marine protected areas, we encourage your attendance. If you can attend and/or would like help with talking points please, contact Stefanie at:

Go here to see all upcoming MLPA meetings:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Recent Letter to the Editor....

Check out a letter I recently wrote to the SD Union Tribune.....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Sense of Pride....

Since Surfrider started working on the MLPA in the south coast region, we have received a lot of feedback and emails from our members.  Two of my favorite emails came from active Surfrider members (one lives in Orange County and the other in San Diego).   

Within their emails they attached photos of recent fish they caught.  From their emails (and subsequent conversations),  these members expressed an understanding of how Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are biologically important and can work to help key habitat and fish populations grow.  And within the same breath, they also expressed concerns about marine reserves being placed in the right locations so that fishing is still accessible.  

Really, the whole MLPA equation comes down to placement....

(Good habitat + accessible/sustainable fishing = Successful MPAs)

Surfrider is gathering valuable information from our members/supporters through several vehicles including our survey (if you haven't taken it, please do).  We will take all the information we receive and make recommendations about where MPAs can go in order to meet the "cross interest support" the MLPA Blue Ribbon Taskforce is asking for.  

I'm sharing these photos because I want to pass on the pride these Surfrider members feel from being watermen.   But more importantly, I wanted to share a sense of pride I
 feel toward these members. 

They are motivated, respectful and are trying to work with Surfrider to ensure MPAs are located in good locations (i.e. areas that are biologically viable and 'make sense' for fishing).   Even if we don't agree on everything, we carry on... because in the end, we realize the MLPA is a law that must be implemented...and when it's all said and done,  those of us who have become invested in the MLPA process want to know we made a beneficial contribution.  And I for one, will pride myself on the fact that we WORKED TOGETHER to get it done right!   

In the meantime, I'll relish the sense of pride I feel after talking to these members who are   true watermen (surfers, fishermen, divers, and humble people who care about the ocean and are willing to do the hard work in order to watch over this important resource)!  


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Surfrider Cranking out Key MLPA Materials....

For those of you close to the Surfrider Foundation (and of course, those of you who religiously follow this blog ;-))  you probably noticed we've produced a lot of materials about the MLPA lately....  And as you may know, there is a lot of information, science, and opinions on how to implement this law.  We recently published a FAQ sheet about the MLPA (and that also states how Surfrider is involved with the process).   

While we designated a portion of our FAQ to the issue of access and non-extractive recreational uses, we felt it was necessary to also do a technical memo that analyzes sections of the law in order to provide more clarity on the situation. 

We hope it helps you understand and appreciate the MLPA just a little bit more! You can read the memo here: