October 14 – Business Leaders: Ocean Protection is Good for California’s Economy

Over 130 businesses sign letter supporting the Marine Life Protection Act

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 13, 2010- (SAN DIEGO, CA)—California businesses leaders have come together to support the timely implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Over 130 businesses from around the state submitted letters to the California State Fish and Game Commission, which will meet Oct. 20 in San Diego. The list of businesses, elected officials and organizations who endorse marine protected areas is available online (http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper/learn/marine-conservation/endorsements-of-mpas.html).

The Marine Life Protection Act will result in the creation of a community-designed, science-based system of marine protected areas stretching the length of California’s coast.  These protected areas are like underwater state parks that protect sensitive sea life and habitats while providing recreational, educational and study opportunities for people.

Patagonia, Horny Toad Activewear, Avalon Capital Group, Rieman Surf School, Prudential California Realty, Groundswell Technologies, Inc., Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND®, Living Sea Images, Reef Seekers Dive Co., the K Nathan Gallery in San Diego and more than 100 other businesses urged the state to invest in ocean protection:

According to the National Ocean Economics Program, the California coastal economy is responsible for supporting more than 15 million jobs in 2008 while paying more than $797 billion in wages to those in the sector.  Our coastal economy depends on abundant fish and wildlife, healthy ecosystems, and clean beaches and ocean waters.   Visitors from around the world come to experience the beautiful and bountiful California coast.  They stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and spend money on a range of goods and services from postcards to surf lessons.

With coastal economic activities accounting for 83 percent of the U.S. economy, ocean protection is good for business.  A science-based network of Marine Protected Areas can help safeguard those valuable resources and support the long-term economic vitality of coastal communities.

According to the National Ocean Economics Program, the California coastal economy is responsible for supporting more than 15 million jobs in 2008 while paying more than $797 billion in wages to those in the sector. Our coastal economy depends on abundant fish and wildlife, healthy ecosystems, and clean beaches and ocean waters. Visitors from around the world come to experience the beautiful and bountiful California coast. They stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and spend money on a range of goods and services from postcards to surf lessons.

With coastal economic activities accounting for 83 percent of the U.S. economy, ocean protection is good for business. A science-based network of Marine Protected Areas can help safeguard those valuable resources and support the long-term economic vitality of coastal communities.
— Business leaders’ letter to the California Fish and Game Commission, October, 2010.

“This broad support from the business community underscores the fact that environmental and economic health go hand in hand in Southern California,” said Kate Hanley of San Diego Coastkeeper, the region’s largest environmental organization protecting San Diego’s inland and coastal waters.  “From tourism to hospitality, restaurants to research, the health of our oceans is critical to the health of many local industries.”

San Diego area businesses will present the Fish and Game Commission with over 130 letters in support of the MLPA at the Oct. 20 meeting, and will be joined by divers, surfers, scientists, elected officials, and other ocean advocates urging strong protections for Southern California’s coastal treasures.  The commission is expected to finalize plans for the south coast marine protected area network at their December meeting in Santa Barbara.

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About the Marine Life Protection Act
The MLPA was signed into law in 1999 and directs the state to redesign California’s system of marine protected areas to increase its coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state’s marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems. More information on the MLPA can be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/index.asp.

About San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s inland and coastal waters for the communities and wildlife that depend on them by blending education, community empowerment and advocacy. Visit us online at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper.