Protect California's Marine Protected Areas from Large Cargo Vessels sign now

Mr. Richard B. Rogers, President
California Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California 95814

CC:

Ms. Cindy Gustafson, Vice President
Mr. Jim Kellogg, Member?
Mr. Michael Sutton, Member

[email protected]

Dear President Rogers:

The catastrophic oil spill by the Cosco Busan in San Francisco Bay last November is a warning that the new network of marine protected areas (MPAs) being planned along the North Central Coast Project is in danger. Three of the most important areas in the region, Pt. Reyes, Duxbury Reef and Pt. Bonita not only lie in the middle of or directly next to the two shipping lanes into and out of San Francisco Bay but have been polluted by the spill. Each year, about 3,600 large cargo vessels and oil tankers use these state waters as superhighways on the sea to reach the Port of Oakland, the third busiest port in California and the fourth busiest container port in the US. This high intensity vessel traffic threatens to undermine the primary goals of the Marine Life Protection Act.
Unfortunately, the planning process for the region has thus far failed to address this problem despite concern from the public and some of the stakeholders involved in the process.
If these new MPAs are planned without addressing this threat, the habitat and marine wildlife in our new MPA network will continue to be endangered by not only more oil spills, but also ocean noise pollution, ship strikes that injure and kill marine mammals, and global warming gas emissions. The Cosco Busan accident should be a wake up call that the California Fish and Game Commission needs to urgently address the problem of large vessels, vessel traffic lanes, and their harmful impact on the existing and planned MPAs.
I urge you to address the detrimental impacts of allowing our MPAs to be used as superhighways by large vessels and oil tankers. You must take immediate steps to begin negotiations with the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies which are responsible for these shipping lanes, the shipping industry and environmental organizations to explore and implement existing solutions to this problem.

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Myrna ValdezBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
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California Fish and Game Commission

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