Let Children Speak For Themselves

children_mplaI want to express deep gratitude to all of you who attended the California Fish & Game Commission meeting yesterday to speak up for a healthy coast, as well as everyone who has supported the Marine Life Protection Act process at every step of the way. Thanks to you we are on the right road and have taken a giant leap towards a sustainable network of marine state parks! We had unbelievable speakers, and the shear volume of supporters filled the meeting hall to capacity and spilled over into the courtyard and beyond. EPIC JOB FOLKS!

That said, I want to touch on something that upset me greatly at the meeting and has been on my mind since. As many of you are aware, large groups of students from all over San Diego attended the meeting to show their support for conservation. Over the past several months these students have done their own research, created projects, and worked tirelessly to prepare to present their views on the importance of marine protected areas to the commission. I know because I was with them every step of the way.

Due to time constraints and the volume of public comment many students did not have the opportunity to speak. This is regrettable but understandable.

children_interview

Student presenter Genevieve Baumann speaks with North County Times Reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan regarding comments that she was “coerced” to testify.

What is entirely unacceptable, absolutely appalling, and the cause of a very unhealthy spike in my blood pressure, is the insinuation by some members of the opposition that these students were somehow deceived, manipulated or coerced into attendance. How disrespectful! How wrong! How completely offensive to young people doing everything they can to defend their right to live in a community that values their views and protects the environment that belongs to them! (Check out this article in the North County Times in which one of the students gives her response.)

How insulting to teachers who have made a proud career of encouraging the future of our state to learn and grow and think for themselves! Incorporating environmental protection into a curriculum is not coercion! It is a testament to their passion for their students and the health of their community!

mlpa_meeting_san_diegoI could go on forever about the heroics and maturity of San Diego’s youth, and about the crass hypocrisy of those with the audacity to try and debase them. I won’t because there isn’t room here, and I don’t want to have a stroke.

Instead I have a favor to ask of you: Please show your support for the students who put themselves on the line to defend something precious to us all. Please comment here, or email me at ericb@sdcoastkeeper.org and I will be more than happy to pass your messages along. These brave people put a huge collective effort into doing something great, and it is critical that they feel our appreciation!

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30 Responses for Let Children Speak For Themselves

  1. Julie Jenkins says:

    Eric–Those children added a very special element to the meeting yesterday. It takes a lot of courage to stand in front of a group that size and share your thoughts. And what a great way to expose children to the political process and teach them that they have a voice, and it can be heard.

    Congrats to the children.

  2. Marla Lynch Edwards says:

    My daughter was there with her students. I know how hard they worked and what a great lesson this was in citizen involvement. If there are students who don’t support the issue, they had every right to be there, too. Where were they?! We need to celebrate the kids who are willing to take on the big challenge of presenting in front of large groups in a public forum, and we should give a big pat on the back to the teachers who helped prepare them for that!

  3. Great post Eric! the kids made it very clear that they went to the meeting on their own will, nobody force them! The future belongs to them and they know that, and they were there to have their voice be heard. It’s incredibly sad to see grown men “booing” or questioning the kids that had the courage to go up and speak, but as i saw the kids (no matter what age) where more grown up that many of the people i saw in the meeting. I applaud them! I think we will have a great future if kids like the ones that came to support MPAs yesterday continue learning and making their voice be heard!

  4. Katelyn Hailey says:

    Today’s youths are tomorrow’s policy makers, advocates, and environmentalists, and who’s to say that their voices aren’t just as valuable as those of adults? In fact, one of the major reasons we do what we do is for posterity, so that we leave our children a healthy, safe and intact world. Their opinions matter, and are incredibly appreciated. A big thank you goes out to all the children who attended the meeting, and who were brave enough to stand up for their beliefs!

  5. Megan says:

    I was incredibly impressed by the students’ testimony. Many of them were better spoken than the adults, myself included. Excellent, job, all of you!

    And, good job to kids who spoke on ANY perspective. I think it’s important to point out that the words that kids in blue shirts and kids in black shirts spoke came from the education that they received and is colored by the opinions of those around them. So, to discount the views of one group equally diminishes the views of the other.

    It is important to give children information about the things that affect them and help them work through the issues and as one gentleman said “think for themselves.” Any child who was in the room for the MLPA hearing yesterday got an earful of the many issues in this matter and hopefully did incorporate that into their thinking.

    I can’t imagine that any parent or member of the community who harassed or spoke dismissively to a child during the hearing would permit that type of behavior toward their own child who expressed his/her views. So shame on them.

    Multiple proponents of Map 3 and Proposal 2 said that the issue was important to them because of their children and their children’s future. Let’s applaud every single child who spoke up for themself and their love of the ocean.

  6. B Reznik says:

    The students who came out did an amazing job…it is too bad the hearing lasted so long that many schools and students had to leave before they could speak. When we hear so much about children not being involved in the decisions that affect them most, it was great to see so many turn out to have their voices heard!

  7. Eric Brickenstein says:

    Thank you all for your comments, and I will certainly pass them on!

    Megan,

    Thank you for pointing out that children on both sides of the argument deserve our praise and encouragement. It is important to remember that whether for or opposed to the MLPA, the goal of encouraging the youth to speak with their own voice, and involve themselves with decisions that affect them is one we can all share.

    To broaden the point, I think it is important to emphasize that although we disagree with the opposition, we absolutely respect and appreciate their right to express their views in an appropriate manner. While some members of their camp clearly behaved shamefully, the majority are good, caring people with whom we simply disagree on this issue.

    Many of these folks do have genuine concern for the environment and are simply misinformed, or misguided concerning the MLPA. We work with them and they support us on many other issues of mutual concern and it is important that when this process is over, regardless of outcome, we continue to do so.

    Bottom line is that public comment is about mutual respect, reasonable debate, and the safe expression of opposing views. To the extent that that was violated yesterday I am extremely disappointed. However, over all I believe that one of the major successes of the MLPA process has been its transparency and large scale public involvement.

    I think that all of us, and especially the students, have every reason to be very proud of what we came together to accomplish yesterday. Thank you to everyone for your comments, your continued support, and the professionalism you bring to our team.

    Best,
    Eric

  8. Kaitilin Gaffney says:

    I was so impressed by the courage and eloquence of the children who testified on Wednesday. Most adults shake in their boots at the thought of speaking in front of a crowd of 700 but these kids were fearless and thoughtful. Kids had important things to say on both sides of the issue and they said them well.

    And what better lesson in civics and democracy that to participate directly in an important public policy issue being decided in your area about something you care about.

    As for the adults that treated these kids with disrespect, that too is a lesson. Effective advocacy depends on civility. Too bad some of the older folks in the crowd haven’t figured that out yet.

  9. Jenn says:

    I felt so proud to be in that room with so many passionate and motivated young people. I hope that every single student realizes how important and impactful their presence was, whether they spoke, held a sign, or just sat listening. Protecting California’s oceans is about leaving a legacy for future generations and I am so thankful and appreciative that so many students from San Diego and LA were with us yesterday to help convey that message. A huge thanks to all of you – you were articulate, professional, and very impressive.

  10. I was humbled and inspired by the children of all ages who presented at the meeting on Wednesday. Their poise and eloquence at the podium, in addition to their well-researched statements, made them some of the best speakers that I have EVER seen give public testimony.

  11. Joe Justos says:

    My Son WAS pressed to testify, he loves fishing and argued with his teacher and then got yelled at.

    I am a teacher and this is a tragic example of poor teaching, I’m so mad I am shaking!

    As a history teacher my job is teach both sides and my Son was not taught anything about the false science, economics or impact of this farce.

    I’m considering a lawsuit.

  12. Eric B says:

    @ Jen and Sarah- Couldn’t agree more! Thank you all for your messages, and I’ll be passing them right along!

  13. San Diego Coastkeeper says:

    Thanks for your comment Joe. We certainly don’t condone teachers forcing anyone to testify against their beliefs; the feedback we got from the students who we spoke with was all positive (which many students mentioned during their testimony) and in the media (follow the North County Times link in the blog post). While just a handful of students actually testified (was your son one of those?), the vast majority of students present were simply there to observe a public process, one which showed an openness to all opinions. MPAs across the world have been successful in reviving fishing economies and conserving natural resources. We don’t think this is false or a farce; you can go to http://www.caloceans.org to find out more info on the science behind marine protected areas.

  14. Abbey Hill says:

    In response to Joe Justos:

    I am a middle school teacher in Vista and my middle school students were proud beyond belief to be part of the monumental occasion.

    I can tell you first hand that Eric B came to us and instructed my students to research and understand BOTH sides of the MPA’s, the pro’s and cons. I also followed through every time we worked on the project to ensure that my students understood all sides of the issues and at no point were they “forced” to partake. Parents were informed as well as my district of the presentations and EVERY parent/student had the opportunity to make the decision for themselves! We had full support of our families and school.

    But in the end, the students realized the pros of the MPA’s out-weighed the cons and though many have families involved in the fishing industry/sport, they have the insight and fortitude to make the right choice to stand behind a good decision for the future, beyond their immediate needs.

    My students were extremely upset and hurt when they didn’t even make it into the building to present, yet they remained incredibly energized and waited patiently with the hope they might get the chance to support the initiative and to have been part of the process.

    As a teacher, that which defines a great teacher, my job is to allow my students to come to their own decisions and tie their school curricula to the real-world. It is also my duty to support them to make connections to what is happening around them. I give them all the credit for being resourceful, making well-informed decisions and standing with dignity, I was simply the liaison. Thank you to the SD Coastkeepers for this AMAZING opportunity!

  15. Ryan Sweeney says:

    Encouraging participation in a democratic process is a fine and noble cause however it was beyond disappointing and actually just down right despicable. These children were most certainly not brought in with balanced exposure to both sides of the debate. Teachers got angry when the children listened to the opposing sides views and began to understand that California’s fishing management approach is one of the best in the world and sets responsible examples for the rest of the world. Do the children know that?… NO. But they know about coral reefs that we don’t even have here in California. The facts about MLPA implementation looks more like this… They will close down our ocean access for the community. They will seriously impair/shut down our local fishing industry and cause a climate where we rely on poorly managed fisheries in less developed countries. Yes, voting for MLPA’s is another example that will have us outsource our jobs to other countries. Do those kids truly understand what’s happening here or are they just being told they’re saving the fish and oceans? I would be livid if my children were hoodwinked into supporting this tainted process.

  16. Eric says:

    @ Ryan- Hello, and thank you for your comment. You are certainly entitled to your opinion of the MLPA, but I’d like to address two of your key points that aren’t accurate. First, the students were not “hoodwinked” in any way. On the contrary, they were very much encouraged to research both sides of the debate. The fact that they disagree with you does not mean that they were deceived.

    Second is your notion that the MLPA would shut down coastal access/the local fishing industry. This is entirely untrue. The MLPA would not restrict non-consumptive access to ANY location at all. None of the map proposals would close a single boat launch. Additionally, great care and compromise has been taken to ensure that fishing remains a viable industry in California. The vast majority of the coast (including the majority of productive fishing grounds) will remain open to all fishing. In San Diego for example, all of Point Loma, Mission Bay, and North La Jolla will remain open. The Santa Barbara coastline is loaded with prime fishing grounds such as Refugio, Gaviota, and Carpinteria reef that would remain completely open. Ventura County does not have a single proposed MPA. How is this “shutting down fishing?”

    It is also important to consider the long term benefits to fishing that MPAs create. Healthy ecosystems within MPAs create large fish stocks that spillover and repopulate surrounding open waters, creating improved and sustainable fisheries. As years go by, local fisherman will continue to reap the benefits of MPAs. For evidence of this I encourage you to research case studies from around the world (New Zealand and Cabo Pulmo, BCS to name a couple) of well managed MPAs. Time and again you will find fishing communities who were initially opposed to MPAs now among those who most strongly advocate and enforce them.

    Thank you again for your input. Please do read the case studies and examine how little area even the strongest proposed MPA network (map 3) would actually close. You may find yourself questioning your own dire predictions, and whether perhaps you yourself have been “hoodwinked.”

    -Eric

  17. Ryan says:

    Eric,

    This is exactly the kind of response I would expect from someone who does not understand the current fishing dynamics in southern california, or anywhere for that matter. I have been involved in this MLPA process for a year and a half. I am aware of the fact MPA’s have been implemented elsewhere and are “supposedly” seen as being helpful. Personally i believe those positive reports are probably coming from the same entities that put the MPA’s into action and need to paint them as being positive to cover their own rear… meanwhile the fishing communities that used to exist are probably out of work and struggling to create new careers.
    We have heard this perspective your side has taken. It’s really disappointing to see because you are making enemies out of what could be your best allies. We are the people in and on the water. We have worked with the DFG for many years to establish a give and take of communication so we can truly understand what is happening in our oceans.
    Your opinions about MLPA’s not restricting NON-consumptive use may be true… for now. non-consumptive use CAN be restricted according to the MLPA guidelines. Read the fine print. so how much of San Diego’s harbors are filled with fishing vessels?…it’s about 70%. 70% of our harbors will no longer be full of boats that are owned for primarily fishing purposes. Why? Because not all areas of the ocean hold fish. Many species survive off of certain eco-systems (kelp forests, rocky areas, etc…) The majority of the spots that will remain open for fishing access do not support our local targeted species or many others for that matter. All of the locations that are proposed to be closed affect well over 50% of the productive fishing grounds…Heck, ALL of Laguna Beach is going to be shut down. This will absolutely have a drastic impact on the local economy that is much more devastating than the “best available” scientific evidence estimates… but it will bring in revenue for international fish markets who will benefit from our need to put fish on the table.
    There are soooo many aspects those of you who are pushing for Map 3 are not willing to see… and it makes many hearts ache for what is coming down the line. If only YOU could see the bigger picture of balanced fishery management. Blanket closures are NOT the best solution.

  18. Eric says:

    Ryan,

    I understand the dynamics of fishing and fishery management very well, particularly in Southern California. I have worked in the industry and have fished here all my life. I continue to fish here. I will continue to fish here after the implementation of the MLPA. Please don’t paint me as some hippie enviro who’s uninformed and anti fishing. I can throw iron with anyone and I’ve put my time in on the water.

    As I’ve said before, MPAs are first and foremost an effective fisheries management tool. You are certainly entitled to your opinion as to their effectiveness, but please understand that your opinion flies contrary to decades of hard scientific evidence. Do you honestly believe that a science advisory team comprised of world class researchers devoted to accuracy in science are just making this up? Or is it much more likely that these are educated professionals giving expert opinions on resource management?

    Of course, economic impact is a concern. When I was a deckhand I made a year’s pay between June and September. I didn’t make it fishing South La Jolla. I, and every other deckhand, galley cook, second, and captain on the docks earned the vast majority of our living fishing offshore in the summer months. Not one of those men will lose their jobs on account of the MLPA, and not one of those boats will forfeit its slip. I’m not saying that some people won’t lose some money. I’m saying that the total collapse you predict is highly exaggerated.

    You make an excellent point about having made enemies with those who should be our best allies. I really hope you are wrong, and I’m afraid you’re right. The level of vehemence this debate has reached costs me sleep. I’m a member of the angling community and a member of the conservation community, and I absolutely agree with you that the two should work together. I’ve grown up around fishermen my entire life starting with my father, and I know that the vast majority have solid respect for the environment.

    This is a debate over the correct strategy to achieve a shared goal. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not believe it is an ideological war. Whatever the outcome in December, I hope that all those involved can continue to work together on water quality and other issues of mutual concern. I hope we’re better than the kooks in congress. I don’t think for a second that anyone in any of the meeting rooms doesn’t love the ocean. I hope we can all keep that in mind.

    I’m sure you think I’m blowing smoke, but I’m not. You think I’m misinformed the same way I think you’re misinformed. We disagree on the subject of MPAs, straight up. But lets leave it at that and when this is done lets work together to make sure that the new MPAs, whatever size and wherever they’re located, get a chance to work. And above all, lets please, for all of our sake, not let this issue drive a permanent wedge between marine conservationists and some of our best allies.

    Best,
    Eric

  19. Dave says:

    Eric, I’m sorry, but you are flat out lying.

    I spoke with several students there and they had not been made aware of the potential negative impacts of the current MLPA proposals. In fact, all the students I spoke with had been told that if they didn’t support the most drastic closures “ALL THE FISH IN THE OCEAN WOULD DIE”. That’s a direct quote.

    Giving them the tools to make their own decision is one thing. Playing a sympathy game with the minds of impressionable children is so reprehensible I can’t even put it into words. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    To “teacher” Abby Hill:
    You say you had Eric come in and provide a “balanced” view? Riddle me this: How can someone who is completely anti fishing provide a balanced view? That’s like having Rush Limbaugh come in and give a “balanced” view on politics.

    If you actually wanted a balanced view presented to your class you would have had representatives from the fishing community come in and give a presentation AND someone who is an antifishing representative like Eric come in so the students could actually see BOTH sides and make up their own minds. In that respect, Abby, either you intentionally mislead them, or you failed as an educator.

    My sister is a grade school teacher, as is my mother, and my father is a part time college professor. I know what a good educator is, and how a good educator teaches… Abby, please, for the sake of your students, put aside your own personal agenda and do the right thing in the future and teach them to look at BOTH sides.

  20. DJ says:

    It is very sad to see one agenda pushed and no actual real time studying put into the other side of this issue.
    No one on the Watermens Alliance board was contacted to speak at any Schools. No one in any of the many California spearfishing clubs was asked to come speak at these schools. No one from the fishing community who puts an annual 1.6 billion dollars a year into the economy was asked to present their side of the story to these schools.
    Reality check! This was as one sided in the public schools as is the MLPA agenda and Blue Ribbon Task Force.
    How many Heal the Bay or Packard Foundation Or Coast Keepers were referenced or were invited into these fair and objective classrooms?
    As teachers you should all be ashamed at yourselves for brainwashing children to an opinion of your own design without bringing all sides to the table.
    Pushing the non consumptive agenda while you go to sizzler and eat pounds of crab, or the BRTF sitt’s at every meeting and stuff’s themselves with bottom trawled shrimp from overseas is as hypocritical as it gets.
    The next time you order fish at a restaurant or buy it at the grocery store, remember, it probably came from another part of the world where there are NO RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITS. Why? Because you have decimated your own fishing business in California and ruined lives and economics in your own country. The result is so much worse elsewhere in the world. And the seafood still arrives.
    You have saved nothing and caused greater exploitation elsewhere.

  21. Randy Wise says:

    Eric, I do not believe the children were educated fairly, in fact like in our colleges, the instructors teach their own views and any student has to have the sense to know when to believe the ramblings and use a unbiased view of the information to learn anything worth while.

    In the case of the MLPA, I am pro closure. As a fisherman and diver, I consume the legal fish as outlined by state law. As a scientific collector who once supplied students and scientists world wide, I was able to observe the fishery first hand instead of from a book written by someone who rode around on the surface for a few moments and pretended to have knowledge. In fact there are already 42 marine parks in existence. If these 42 closures were made full closures, the intent of the VOTER would be met. Not the insane amount of closures being pused by the Packard group. This is not about saving the resource. It is about a minority of people taking away the free rights of the majority.

    That is just plain wrong!

  22. Peter Culp says:

    Eric,

    I would suggest you read this article, and then tell me if you think the most restrictive proposal is a good idea.

    http://www.sma.washington.edu/faculty/christie/MPAs.Christie.AFS%20book.2004.pdf

    Successful MPAs are all about stakeholder support. The Fish and Game Commission has an opportunity to implement a map with very similar ecological value and across the board stakeholder support.

    As for the Kids. I commend them for taking the opportunity to speak in a public process. As for the educators that brought the kids to the process. Shame on them for teaching such a skewed view of what is really going on. Coral Reefs????? Really???? Whoever the teacher of those kids is should be fired.

  23. Chris Lupin says:

    Eric, as a non-fisherman, you may look at the proposed maps and see only a small portion of coastline closed. But in reality, only an extremely small portion of the coast is fishable due to access, and of course, STRUCTURE! Lets talk Laguna. When Laguna is closed, the available options are Crystal Cove (costs money to get in) a few spots in south Laguna that are not easily accessible (one is called 1000 steps for a reason) Dana pt kelp (need a boat or very dangerous long swim due to boat traffic that will only increase when the rest of the area is closed) and San Clemente, which is the same situation, an extremely long swim or a long boat ride with tons of traffic. This is why we say RIP to spearfishing and shore based fishing in Laguna. Newport is sand. The truth is, for a shore based spearfisherman like me, the MLPA “science” based closures are the death of my spearfishing in OC. We are not against reserves. I think you will find support among the fishing community for the already existing reserves in La Jolla, Laguna (Heisler Park) and Casino pt on Catalina. To say that only a small amount of coast is left open is true, but to say that a large amount is left open TO FISHING is a lie, because without structure or access, there is no fishing.

    Also, your organization is strongly in favor of marine reserves. I seriously doubt all of the students were given an accurate picture of both sides of the issue, considering you still believe that many areas to fish will be left open. That’s like saying kids are in favor of smoking because the “scientists” from the tobacco companies gave them an accurate picture of both sides of the issue.

    Please do more research about the issue in Orange County (this will require you to get in the water and travel the coast) and you will support the fisherman’s proposal 2 for this area when you realize the triangle of death is killing fishing in Laguna. You’re welcome to join me for a long swim to the Dana point kelp when Laguna is closed, just be ready to dodge lots of boats.

  24. cartoman says:

    Funny that the message from Ryan talks about people only hearing one side of the issue as he parrots the same old anti MLPA talking points. Fishing management in California has been and is a mess. That is why our fish stocks on the brink, (abalaone and rockfish to name a few) and why the MLPA was passed. The other tired comments “the science was fixed”, “everyone will sell their boat”, just more BS. As for Laguna, remember that this is the worst fishing area in Orange County! Few fishers will even notice this reserve. Lets face it, most of the kids that attended this event have a better understanding of the issue than the anti’s that continue to eat the misinformation the PSO is feeding them.

  25. Ryan says:

    Cartoman… do you even realize that the ocean is to the west on this coast? no need to reply to this one.

    Eric… what steams most of the consumptive community is how the MLPA was instated to address water quality, pollution and other influences that have a drastic affect on our fishery… along with some fishing industry mandates. Somewhere along the line the process was hijacked by eco groups who are not equipped to do battle with the big corporate pocket books that are truly having a negative impact on our ocean quality. Instead the focus was shifted to the smallest contributors… the fishing industry. Again, many of us consumptives support an MLPA being implemented, just not this one because it is terribly ill balanced.

  26. DJ says:

    Eric
    I noticed you alluded to water quality in one of your post’s. It is interesting that the MLPA has nothing to do with water quality in any respect. Other than to NOT allow an MPA in any run off areas of polluted waters.
    If the money thrown at the MLPA plan had addressed water quality and run off and acid rain, then this would have addressed the real culprit in the down cycle of our fisheries, pollution.
    The Sea Bass, Yellowtail, Black Sea Bass and so many other species have come back in such strong numbers that some are no longer on any endangered list.
    This year and last have seen record numbers and sizes of White Sea Bass compared to all of the historical data compiled since the 50’s.
    Ever since getting rid of gill net’s the fisheries have thrived off of California with more sardines and mackerel than ever before.
    All the MPA’S have been placed in the best fishing areas, to the extreme of closing ALL not some ALL OF LAGUNA BEACH>
    This does not make sense. Why didn’t they close Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Sunset Beach and so on.
    I will tell you why, they only wanted the pristine best fisheries leaving the deserts to the California people.
    To quote The Band.
    “Take what you need
    and leave the rest
    but you should never
    have taken
    the very best”.
    In our Constitution we have the right to access all California Coast and waterways.
    Please don’t be a part of taking away our right’s, privileges and pastimes.

  27. Nicole says:

    I just want to applaud Eric and SDCK for reaching out to students who will inherit the impacts of choices we make today. Every child, whether they know it or not, has a stake in the outcome of the Marine Life Protection Act. They are the ones who get to enjoy a bountiful ocean if we get this right, or struggling fisheries and damaged and depleted ecosystems if we choose short-term economic gain over long-term sustainability. We know Marine Protected Areas work–just look at the Channel Islands, Florida, or the Great Barrier Reef. They boost fish populations and fishing revenues. So if everyone would just take a step back and look at the science instead of listening to the fearmongers, we’d be in a much better place!

  28. cartoman says:

    So it sounds like the biggest reason to not have a decent sized reserve at Laguna is so you do not have to pay for parking or walk down a bluff?? You have to be kidding. If walking down less than 100 ft to the water is too much work then you need to find another sport.

  29. Kyle Moon says:

    Eric,

    I think you are doing a great job of getting kids involved in protecting their enviroment. I am a big believer in the fact that before we can make positive change in the enviroment we need to make positive change in the people who live in it. Perhaps this is the issue with those who oppose MPA’s….there was obviously no enviromental education or outreach when they were in public school. It’s all learned cultural behavior that is driving their opinion and anyone who is opposed to protecting marine coastline for our future is selfish and ignorant.
    Thank you for working so hard to get our youth involved. You are providing a voice for these kids and I am extremely proud of their efforts.

    Kyle

  30. Whit says:

    It’s unfortunate how often people underestimate a child’s intellect… They have minds of their own, can make their own decisions regarding this issue, and I applaud Eric and SDCK for providing students the opportunity to share their conclusions with the Fish and Game Commission. Keep up the great work!