Thursday, September 17, 2009

View Regional Stakeholders Discuss Draft Final Maps.

Regional Stakeholders have spent close to a year perfecting maps of Marine Protected Areas for So Cal. Last week, they discussed their draft final designs. At our community forums we will be discussing these maps and the final step in the MLPA process. Check out their presentations!

MLPA Round 3 Map Discussions from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Surfrider Shares Ideas with the "Map-Makers"....the MLPA Regional Stakeholder Group.

Over the past year, Surfrider has been scurrying around meeting with our members, Chapter activists, elected officials, environmentalists, fishermen, recreationalists and other people interested in the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). We also polled our members and non members to gauge their views on where marine protected areas should be placed.

Last month at a MLPA meeting, we presented our findings to the Regional Stakeholder Group (AKA "the Map-Makers"). We also made recommendations on how we think the maps should continue to grow.

The below video is a compilation of testimony that will give you an idea of how we are working to build consensus within the MLPA process and introduce more creative thinking.

Hopefully some of our recommendations made into the final maps....we shall see! At our community forums later this month, we will examine the final proposals and discuss the different 'sets of maps' with our supporters. After the forums, we will compile all constrictive comments and rely them to decision makers before a final map is picked. We hope to see you at one of our forums!

Coastal Recreation Is Big Business for Southern California

A new peer-reviewed study by economists Linwood Pendleton and Chris LaFranchi found that the vast majority of coastal recreation in southern California is non-consumptive (does not involve the take or destruction of marine life). Moreover, these non-consumptive activities generate far more money than fishing. Protecting the ocean resources that attract millions of visitors to the south coast each year is not just a moral obligation for local communities; it’s an economic imperative.

The Pendleton and LaFranchi survey was commissioned by the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation to help inform efforts to protect southern California’s ocean. It measured the number and type of coastal visitors and the amount of money they generate for local economies.

Recreational activities such as beach walking, swimming in the ocean, surfing, SCUBA diving, visiting tide pools and watching birds and other marine life attract millions of visitors to the south coast each year, where they spend money on parking, ice, food, rentals, accommodations and other items. These expenditures support local businesses, create jobs and provide tax dollars. The survey found that non-consumptive ocean visitors spent 40 times more during their visits than sport and commercial fishermen.

Below is a summary of the key findings from the report:

  • More than 93 percent of all visits between Point Conception and Point Fermin are estimated to be purely non-consumptive.
  • Of the total expenditures on coastal visits by Southern California residents, 81 percent came from purely non-consumptive visits, and only 2 percent came from purely consumptive visits. The remaining 17 percent came from trips that were a combination of consumptive and non-consumptive.
  • Non-consumptive visitors spend nearly $115 million annually.
  • Nearly 8 million nature-based visits were made by Southern California residents to coastal sites in this region.
  • On average, each non-consumptive ocean visitor spends between $25 and $32 per visit, per day.
  • The most popular activities for ocean visitors is “beach going” (63 percent of respondents participated), followed by “sitting in your car and watching the scene” (48 percent), “watching birds and/or other marine life from the shore” (31 percent) and “swimming in the ocean” (30 percent).
  • Coastal recreation generates tens of billions of dollars for local economies.
  • 70 percent of all Californians visit the ocean annually