Posted by msblucow on September 23, 2002 at 14:46:31:
I received this email today. If you are at all interested in being involved in the MPLA decision-making process, I strongly urge you to read what I've posted below.
This is John H. Moore, one of two of your diver representatives to the Los Angeles to San Diego Regional Working Group for the Marine Life Protection Act
(MLPA RWG) -- a mouthful which means that I'm one of 19 user group reps on the committee which will recommend where to place marine protected areas for that geography.
Our MLPA RWG met for the second time last Friday, Sept. 20th. The first meeting was back in July, and truly was just a meet 'n' greet, with some overview of the MLPA thrown in. This past meeting got us a little closer to the substance, though was also very much a getting to know each other meeting.
At the meeting last Friday we- decided not to add any additional members to the RWG (at 19 members, we're already the biggest of the 7 RWG's; though we've also got the largest population in California)- modified and then approved the operating principles for the RWG (the rules by which we'll work over the next couple years; these are available on the DFG website)- each told some about ourselves and why we care.
It's an interesting group. The DFG listing of members does not show affiliations, so I'll put that together at some point and send it out.
SIDE NOTE: One of the members is Vice Chair of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council -- a federal body which advises NOAA on fisheries management for Washington, Oregon and California in federal waters. Ten days ago they finalized their groundfish closure plans; which involves dissallowing fishing for certain types of groundfish (e.g., rockfish) and fishing with certain types of gear from 120 feet deep on out. This closure is forcing a lot of fishing pressure (both commercial and recreational) into the zone we as divers care most about, 130 feet and shallower. This WILL affect us, and likely sooner than any marine protected areas in the nearshore will help, so it's something you should learn about. See the Pacific Fisheries Management Council link below.
The next meeting will start us into substance. In early December we will start to review our geography and what is known about habitat, fisheries, etc for specific regions or sites within our geography (Point Dume to the Mexican Border).
Here's what I want from you all in preparation for the December meeting:
- tell all your diving buddies to sign up to receive these e-mails, including forwarding this info and request to dive club e-mail lists. Visit
http://divebums.com/mlpa.html to register your contact info. This is how I'm going to get feedback from you, my constituency.
- this is particularly true for divers in LA and Orange Counties. I need to hear from them (I'm based in SD and better connected to that diving community).
- write to me and tell me about the nearshore areas you care about: what's the habitat like? should it be protected? why or why not? but mostly just give me a paragraph about what the site is like (topography, types of critters, kelp?, canyon?, rocky reef?, sandy bottom?, etc). Do this even if you think I'm likely to already know about the area or to have already heard from others.
- if you're a dive club president, write to me and give me your club name, location, and your contact info - including phone number(s). I'll need to come talk with /
listen to clubs...
- if you help plan dive club meetings, suggest a date to me for me to come talk with your club. (This date does not have to be before early December.) But note that, as I'm paid zero cents per mile and zero dollars per hour for this work, please strongly consider combining meetings with other nearby dive clubs when I'm going to come talk/listen... 30 trips to LA to talk with individual clubs does not sound like my idea of fun! :-)
General MLPA info: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa/
MLPA Regional Working Group info:
Members of the Los Angeles to San Diego RWG:
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa/regional_working_groups.html#la (Note that as of this morning, this list had not been updated to include the Enforcement Representative: Lt. Marty Maytorena of DFG (LA/Orange))
Pacific Fisheries Management Council:
http:/www.pcouncil.org/ -- click on "Learn about West Coast groundfish issues")
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