Letters/Online Comments

Setting the record straight

Setting the record straight on NOAA’s proposed national marine sanctuary

The Log previously erroneously reported that a proposed national marine sanctuary off of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties would restrict boaters and anglers. The proposal for that area – Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary – was submitted with broad-based community support and did not propose any restrictions or no-access zones for recreational boaters or fishermen. NOAA has not seen anything to date that would contradict the proposal or otherwise warrant such restrictions.

On Oct. 5, 2015, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries added the area nominated as Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary to an inventory of areas that may be considered for future national marine sanctuary designation. At this time NOAA has made no decision to move the nomination forward for designation.

National marine sanctuaries are special places in our ocean where biodiversity, economic productivity, and our historical connections are preserved. Many and diverse ocean uses are allowed and promoted within national marine sanctuaries, including recreational boating and fishing. Just take a look at Monterey Bay and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries, which are adjacent to the nominated area, to witness the enjoyment of these protected areas by kayakers, boaters, sport fishermen and numerous other ocean recreational users.

Several economic reports published by NOAA illustrate the economic contribution of recreational uses to local economies adjacent to national marine sanctuaries. More than 400,000 visitors to national marine sanctuaries along the north central coast of California spent $127 million on non-consumptive activities, such as beach going, wildlife viewing, surface water sports and diving in 2011. According to a separate report, recreational fishing in four national marine sanctuaries off of California’s coastline adds roughly $123 million annually to economic output. These reports underscore the active use of national marine sanctuaries by ocean recreational users and their contribution to harbors, marinas, and business adjacent to sanctuaries. The recreational economic impacts reports can be found at sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/socioeconomic.

Lisa Wooninck, policy coordinator, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries – West Coast Region

Response to ‘boogeyman’ comment

Responding to a letter regarding the “boogeyman” of ethanol harming engines (EPA increases ethanol mandate, Jan. 1 issue). It is well documented that the Brazilian ethanol (sugar cane) is less likely to cause problems (phase separation) like corn based ethanol. I don’t know the exact science behind this but a little research will bear this out.

Boat engine manufactures have warned our EPA they will void engine warranties if they increase ethanol to 15 percent or more here in the USA.  Not a petroleum industry boogeyman as asserted.

Submitted to editor@thelog.com

Letters, comments have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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