Morro Bay marine sanctuary denied

March 12, 2015

morro bayBy KAREN VELIE

The federal government denied a request by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council and members of the public to make a section of the Pacific Ocean between the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands a national marine sanctuary.

In its March 6 denial, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the nomination by Fred Collins of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council was not sufficient to move forward with the next step in the approval process. Specifically, that Collins did not explain how current and future uses would threaten the area’s resources and quality and that he was not clear about what local partner agencies would bring to the process.

In addition, Collins failed to explain how a national marine sanctuary would work with or improve existing regulatory and management authorities in the area and how it would provide unique conservation.

If Collins addresses the application’s insufficiencies, he can resubmit the tribal council’s nomination request, the NOAA said in its denial letter.

In the council’s original application, it noted that a marine sanctuary designation for the area would preserve unique cultural and natural resources and permanently prevent offshore oil and gas development in the protected area. The Chumash consider a portion of the proposed sanctuary to be sacred.

Several local officials and groups sent letters of support to the NOAA in January including San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, SLO County Supervisor Bruce Gibson, the California Coastal Commission, Surfrider chapters and the Sierra Club.



  1. SLOChildrenAtPlay says:

    If they really lay claim to their REAL ancestral lands, how about they try this marine sanctuary crap in China or Mongolia? Worst case scenario they get imprisoned, best case scenario they might get some Chinese beads and small pox infected blankets.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
  2. Downtown Bob says:

    The Chumash were on a dig that I worked on at the Mission School in San Luis a number of years ago.

    The guy was paid a large sum to be there as an observer in case something sacred was dug up. He had Brittany Spears stickers on his hard had, was chewing sunflower seeds and spitting them in the ditch as he looked for a bone or whatever. Complete joke and he and his tribe were raking in over a hundred dollars per hour. Biggest scam I have ever seen, aside from prop 32 here where we pay 1$ extra per gallon of gas to prevent global warming.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      The policy of Manifest Destiny was the biggest scam—ever. What you witnessed was child’s play.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  3. mb business owner says:

    Where was the city of morro bay on this, why hadn’t they passed a resolution opposing the sanctuary as was done in prior years. Apparently irons, smuckler and christine johnson had been contacted numerous times to put it on the agenda but no action. But of course bruce gibson supported it so likely so would irons, smuckler and christine johnson.

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • taxpayer says:

      They were busy trying to ban the sale of bath salts.

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  4. agag1 says:

    Fred has asked the coastal commission to support this sanctuary and close the dunes because there are artifacts under the dunes in Oceano.
    He has asked local city councils to support the sanctuary because there are artifacts in the ocean.
    I respect Fred’s heritage, yet wonder what he would like closed next.

    (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
    • taxpayer says:

      I think before you “respect Fred’s heritage you should ask the Salinians what they think of his genealogy.

      (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
    • Rich in MB says:

      The Central Cost to Californians….that’s what….

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • snooky156 says:

      agag1, I urge you and everyone else to do independent research about how the Stakeholder process works in a National Marine Sanctuary. In any community there are diverse interests and varying perspectives on how to best protect natural and cultural resources. As a stakeholder in a National Marine Sanctuary, you do not assume the policy of other stakeholders. You do not give up your identity. You simply recognize that there are other vital interests involved — apart from your own — and the process optimally puts the Sanctuary’s protection of precious resources first… ahead of any single interest. Further, the Sanctuary is limited in the scope of restrictions it may impose, similar to the already present agencies (Federal, State, County, and local).

      I also urge you and others to do some research regarding the recent denial of PG&E’s request to do High Energy Seismic Studies along the Central Coast. The Feds (who currently support similar studies on a much wider area in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico) signed off on the impacts, The California State Lands Commission signed off on the impacts. But, the many other Stakeholders in our county rallied together to oppose those impacts, which — as it turned out — were totally unnecessary. The take-away here is, our coast is NOT EXEMPT from potential offshore oil exploration and drilling or other short-sighted plans that put our marine resources, and the interests of other stakeholders, at risk.

      There was an opportunity in this article to get a quote from Fred, apparently not pursued. Also, it’s not a “Morro Bay Marine Sanctuary”. The Sanctuary proposal includes an area from Santa Barbara through San Luis Obispo County waters.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down

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