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Lemos v. Cruiser

 Dear Editor,

My good friend and former colleague Don Cruiser and I have different opinions on the California Marine Life Protection Act of 1999. I previously stated in the Community Forum the reasons I support the MLPA. In response to Don’s article in last week’s paper, the MLPA, as created by the legislature, was never intended to be exclusively a fisheries management tool. It is a whole eco-system approach to marine conservation that addresses all aspects of marine ecology through methods based upon the most readily available science.

Similar to land-based conservation such as wilderness areas, conservation easements, and open space preserves, ocean conservation places a few carefully selected, biologically important marine areas off-limits to certain activities. It is certainly not an effort to close all access to fishing and/or recreation on an entire coastline.

Today we are witnessing several on-going ocean tragedies. These horrific scenarios make me believe that more not less ocean protection is necessary. That is why I am serving as a regional stakeholder for the North Coast in the MLPA process.

As we work to address both community concerns and meet the science requirements of the MLPA, I have attempted to bring local knowledge into this process. It is my hope that together we can find the solution that has benefits for both humans and aquatic ecosystems.

William Lemos

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