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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More South Coast Meeting to be held

Sacramento, CA -- June 29, 2010 - In response to requests made by the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), United Anglers of Southern California (UASC) and the city of Redondo Beach, the California Fish and Game Commission has agreed to schedule one scoping meeting for the South Coast phase of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) at a time, date and place to be announced. The decision was announced during the June 23-24, Commission meeting held in Folsom, California.
Scoping meetings provide the public, stakeholder organizations, governmental agencies and other interested parties the chance to weigh in on issues related to the potential environmental effects of marine protected area proposals being considered by the Commission.
The PSO, UASC, and the city of Redondo Beach each submitted letters requesting scoping meetings after learning that the Fish and Game Commission initially intended to bypass the scoping meeting process for the South Coast Region.
"While we're pleased that the Commission has acknowledged the need for the scoping meeting process in the South Coast, a single meeting for the region is not nearly adequate for such an important issue," commented Steven Fukuto, president of UASC and a PSO member. "This is yet another example of the MLPA process being rushed to implementation without buy-in and input from the very people it will impact."
"Multiple scoping meetings were held for both the Central and North Central Coasts, and I see no reason why the South Coast should receive less," said Paul Lebowitz, director of the Kayak Fishing Association of California and PSO member. "Giving South Coast residents only one opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the MPAs about to be imposed on them is not enough. Given the complexity, magnitude and scope of what is being proposed, the decisions made now will have consequences for generations."
"Anglers need to make their voices heard and tell the Commission that they demand to be treated fairly in the South Coast," said Fukuto. "I call upon anglers throughout Southern California to go to and send an e-mail to the Commission urging them to hold a series of scoping meetings in the South Coast. One is just not enough."
Lebowitz concluded, "It is incumbent upon the commission to correct this oversight by scheduling a series of scoping meetings to help facilitate the most informed and enlightened MLPA outcome possible. The recreational angling community in Southern California deserves no less."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Send a letter to Fish & Game on Scoping Meeting

Urge the California Fish and Game Commission to Hold Scoping Meetings for the South Coast Phase of the MLPA

The Commission plans to railroad the process and bypass these important meetings
In order to gather information essential to the development of Environmental Impact Reports for the implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) along the Central and North Central Coasts, the California Fish and Game Commission held a series of scoping meetings under the state's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). The purpose of the scoping meetings was to solicit input from other agencies, the public, stakeholder organizations and other interested parties on issues related to the potential environmental effects of the MPA proposals being considered.
This is not the case with the South Coast. In an attempt to meet rushed and arbitrary deadlines, the Fish and Game Commission is not planning to schedule these important and necessary meetings for the South Coast. Given the complexity and heightened controversy surrounding the South Coast process, public scoping meetings are essential to ensure that all the potential impacts of MPAs along the South Coast are heard.
What You Can Do
Click here to send a letter to the Fish and Game Commission urging them to hold scoping meetings on the South Coast MPA Project Environmental Impact Report. Without stakeholder input, the Commission will continue to unnecessarily accelerate the process and ignore the need for further input. Send your letter today!
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