Conservationists, fishermen, local officials and recreational ocean users came together yesterday to urge the California Coastal Commission to reject a seismic testing permit near Morro Bay. The commission voted unanimously to do just that, in part because they found the project in direct conflict with nearby protected areas created through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).
From above, the coastline off San Luis Obispo County looks peaceful. Morro Bay stretches out like a classic California postcard, brimming with sea life and showing off its picturesque sunsets. This stretch of sea, however, has been the subject of intense debate over the past several months – and equally passionate collaboration.
When it comes to ocean policy, conservationists, fishermen, agency staff, tribes, county supervisors and the media don't always see eye to eye. But the risky consequences of high energy seismic testing at Diablo Canyon, a nuclear power plant parked right on the central coast of California, have had a remarkable unifying effect.
Brought together by deep concerns over a controversial project proposed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), these unlikely bedfellows have spoken with one voice to oppose the use of powerful air cannons –that would have unavoidable, long term impacts to ocean wildlife—to produce 3D images of subterranean faults off of San Luis Obispo County.
Today the California Coastal Commission validated those concerns. In a unanimous vote that followed more than five hours of public comment and discussion, charged by a packed room of more than 200 people, a thoughtful and deliberate Commission denied PG&E's permit and shut down the proposed project.
Read the full story at Indy Bay Media>>
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.