Tuesday, March 9, 2010

State to cut funding of MLPA

By Ed Zieralski, San Diego Union-Tribune
March 6, 2010

What's really behind the proposed State Parks Initiative that will add $18 to our vehicle registrations in California to help fund the failing state parks system?

Fish and Game commissioner Dan Richards recognizes the proposed State Parks Initiative for what it is. A sham.

Once again, California taxpayers, in this instance, California's vehicle owners, are being asked to fund a failing state parks system that is $1 billion behind in work projects. But that's just part of the state parks' problems. The parks have been incredibly mismanaged for years. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a prime example. Had the state parks personnel done proper forest management, the burn that wiped out most of that park during the 2003 Cedar Fire never would have burned as hot and for as long as it did. All that timber that the park employees let lay after it died from bark beetle infestations or disease fueled that catastrophic fire in an unimaginable, horrific way. These park administrators and employees basically protected and preserved that beautiful park to death.

Richards was the only one of five commissioners on Wednesday who refused to endorse this latest sit down at the public trough for more money from an already over-taxed California citizenry. If this state parks initiative makes it to the ballot in November and is passed by the state's voters, this will give non-public entities all the public funding they need to bid on land, projects, etc., without any oversight. Oh, they promise there will be monitoring of the money, but can you really believe that from a group of fanatical environmentalists who know no boundaries when it comes to wasting the public's time, money and energy?

At some point, this out-of-control extreme environmental movement has to be stopped in this state to allow for some common sense. Right now, there isn't any. Everyone wants to be green. Everyone wants to do the right thing environmentally. So when scams and shams like this come along, everyone just signs up for it. Must be good, right? No, this is very bad.

On the surface, the funds are earmarked for the state parks, the DFG, the Ocean Protection Council and other "state conservancies." But what impact will this grab of public money have on the state budgets for the parks and the DFG? Will the legislature then reduce their budgets and funding by a like amount? What will parks and the DFG really net from all this?

Looking at it right now, the Ocean Protection Council and the other non-government groups look to make out large, getting over $40 million of taxpayer money to do what they want with it. That's just wrong.

It's bad enough that this proposed initiative is bailing out the poorly managed state parks system. They should have stopped right there, but no, they had to add the MLPA to the mix. That's where they made a huge mistake.

There have been some incredible conflicts of interest throughout this MLPA process, and this is just the latest example of the movement to take the management of fish and game away from the Department of Fish and Game.

Right now, there is a strong movement in the state legislature to completely cut funding for the Marine Life Protection Act and the black hole it has become.

Here's the latest, the Legislative Analysts' position on the MLPA for the budget year 2010-2011. This was published March 3, 2010:

"Recommend suspension of state support ($4.4 million General Fund and $400,000 special funds) for this recent public-private partnership initiative (2004) to help the state implement the Marine Life Protection Act. Funding in the budget year is for establishment of the marine protected areas (MPAs), not for long-term enforcement or management of them once established. There is no long-term comprehensive plan to finance administration and enforcement of the proposed MPAs. Other existing state fishing statutes (traditional fishing restrictions and the Marine Life Management Act) could be used to enforce fishing restrictions as an alternative to this proposal."

What's clear in this statement is that the there is a strong sentiment in Sacramento that it's time to stop wasting money on the MLPA process. For the Legislative Analysts to recommend "suspension of state support" for the MLPA, it clearly is taking a stand. The common sense arguments have finally gotten through to some in Sacramento that fisheries management has been effective, that the DFG has done its job, and that present fisheries management practices will continue to be effective without the MLPA.

The answer now is for fishermen -- and hunters, too, because you're going to be impacted by this rigged Fish and Game Commission -- to go to the state legislature and rally your state senators and state legislators. Let them know how you feel about this parks initiative, this latest sham, the latest move to fund this unholy war against fishermen.

The state legislature is getting bombarded with requests by people who want to waste more money, but in this case, this is a way for the state to cut its losses on the MLPA and quit funding this black hole of an agenda.

This initiative proposal is the latest attempt to fund not just the failing parks system, but the struggling MLPA. And the language is vague enough to allow these so-called "conservation groups" to take the money and use it rather than allow the DFG to use it for its purposes.

We still have the power to vote in this country, to voice our opinions about things we see that are just wrong.

Evidence shows MLPA corruption

By Jim Matthews, San Bernardino Sun
March 6, 2010

The first wave of hard evidence documenting the corruption and conflict of interest that's guided the implementation of the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act surfaced at the meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission at the DoubleTree Inn this past week.

The commission accepted public testimony again on the so-called Blue Ribbon Task Force's recommended ocean fishing closures and protected areas along the Southern California coast before adopting a final plan. During Wednesday's testimony, documentation was provided that proved that two members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, Bill Anderson and Greg Schem, lied to the commission at a recent meeting about having a business association.

Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California who's been involved in the entire MLPA process, said there was evidence that both members agreed "to sign off on everything else" in return for not putting a reserve on the Rocky Point area between Redondo Beach and Long Beach where both had marinas and business interests.

Fletcher and others at the meeting say this is just the tip of the iceberg. Sportfishing groups are gathering evidence on three other issues that have plagued the process.

First, Michael Sutton, a member of the Fish and Game Commission and a key supporter of vast closures, has been charged with conflict of interest and repeatedly asked to recuse himself on all MLPA issues. Sutton works for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which stands to benefit financially from Department of Fish and Game funding to help implement and monitor protected marine areas.

When a complaint was filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission last year, however, it wasn't investigated. Sportfishing groups are looking into whether anyone from the governor's office tampered with the issue.

In an incredible case of irony, Sutton is also on the FGC's Marine Resources Subcommittee with commissioner Richard Rogers, and recused himself recently when the issue was collection permits because his employer, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has a vested interest in the collection permits.

Second, there's growing evidence that former Fish and Game commissioner Cindy Gustafson was asked to resign when she, along with two other commissioners, questioned the science involved in some of the proposed MLPA recommendations.

She was replaced by Don Benninghoven solely because of Benninghoven's support of the most restrictive MLPA designations, giving the closure supporters a 3-2 majority on the commission.

Benninghoven came to the commission after a two-year stint on the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

Third, at least 12 of the members of the MLPA science advisory team are fully or partially financed by grants from the Packard Foundation and Ocean Protection Council, both of which have been outspoken proponents of the MLPA process' most restrictive protections, including vast areas closed to all fishing.

The science advisory committee refused to consider catch-and- release sport angling and sport take restrictions as a management option that was less damaging to the marine environment than unrestricted commercial fishing. A catch-and-release angler fishing barbless jigs for calico bass was the same as a commercial gill net to the majority of the science advisory team.

Sportfishing interests have said the whole public process was a sham after the Blue Ribbon Task Force essentially ignored the proposals from the three volunteer study groups that labored for 18 months before forwarding their own recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which was a breach of what the volunteers had been assured at the outset would happen.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force has also refused to take into consideration the state's economy and budget, and how closures will affect business and recreation in the region.

Fletcher said it was likely, with the state's budget crisis, there won't be funding to finance the MLPA. Last year, the legislative budget office stripped all funding of the MLPA implementation out of the Department of Fish and Game's budget, but its funding was continued by the governor's office by backfilling with Proposition 84 funding.

This year, the budget office is again likely to recommend that funding be stopped - and that Proposition 84 funds aren't used again.

"The whole process is rife with conflict of interest," said Fletcher. "It has been hijacked."

Fish & Game Commission advances MLPA coastal fishing restrictions

By Melissa Pamer, Torrance Daily Breeze
March 4, 2010

The state Fish and Game Commission this week advanced a plan to limit or end fishing in nearly 400 square miles of state coastal waters, including an area off Point Vicente and south of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The five-member commission voted 3-2 late Wednesday to ask its staff to develop regulatory language for an "integrated preferred alternative" plan - known as the IPA - that remains controversial but has been pitched as a compromise between fishing and environmental interests.

The vote took place at a lengthy meeting in Ontario that included more than three hours of public comment, mostly from critics of the plan.

The proposed closures, which must still undergo an environmental review, are the result of months of meetings attended by stakeholders from across Southern California as part of the Marine Life Protection Act initiative.

At the meeting this week, fishing groups continued to argue that the process that produced the plan was flawed, alleging conflicts of interest, corruption and closed-door meetings.

"It's probably one of the worst public policy debacles that I have seen in my long career," said Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California and a former deputy director of the Department of Fish and Game.

Environmental groups cited new research showing well-placed marine reserves benefit fish populations and fishermen. They continued to argue for a reserve at Rocky Point, a rich marine environment off the north end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. As a concession to socioeconomic interests, that area was traded last fall for greater protections off Malibu.

"We were disappointed that the IPA failed to meet the science guidelines, with the most egregious failure occurring at Palos Verdes by not protecting Rocky Point," said Shelley Luce, executive director of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.

Luce and others noted complications with the Point Vicente-area reserve because of its proximity to a huge underwater pesticide dump that's now a Superfund site.

Commissioners stuck with their original indication at a meeting in December, in which they backed the IPA. Their decision means that state staff will not write complicated regulatory language for three other proposals that came out of the stakeholder process. Those three proposals will, however, get a full environmental analysis.

The commissioners made clear that they may still make changes to the marine reserve plan before it is finalized in coming months.

The commission also voted to study requests by other agencies to allow continued water-quality monitoring and other activity in the proposed reserves.

A follow-up meeting is set for April in Monterey.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Former Congressman Dan Hamburg Slams MLPA Initiative

Dan Hamburg took aim at the MLPA process in an outstanding letter he wrote to the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

By Dan Bacher, IndyBay
February 16, 2010

Dan Hamburg, a North Coast Democratic Congressman from 1992-94 and a Green Party candidate for Governor in 1998, recently blasted Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's fast-track Marine Life Protection (MLPA) process for its many conflicts of interests, private funding and other problems in a great letter to the editor he wrote to the Anderson Valley Advertiser in Boonville.

"Coastal residents — including fishermen, divers and gatherers — have joined together to protest the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPAI). There is plenty of reason to protest," Hamburg said in his letter, http://theava.com/archives/2825, entitled, "What Protection?"

He then summarized some of the key criticisms made against the MLPA process. The implementation of the MLPA, a law passed in 1999 to protect ocean ecosystems, has become a surrealistic parody of "protection" under the Schwarzenegger administration.

"Jim Martin, vice president of the Salmon Restoration Federation, the Recreation Fishing Association and a member of the Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission, has pointed out many of the foibles of the MLPAI," said Hamburg. "Special interest groups, unaccountable to elected officials, dominate the process. Key policy decisions are made by private foundations rather than the public. And, at a time when the state is broke, Martin asks who will pick up the tab to police a large number of underwater parks."

Hamburg noted how Cindy Arch, a longtime ocean preservation leader, is also disturbed that the MLPAI is being funded “by the charitable arms of huge businesses.” "She foresees aquaculture (farmed fish) as a real possibility for the coast if the initiative isn’t stopped," said Hamburg.

"Author, activist and businessman John Lewallen’s critique is perhaps the most devastating. He sees the MLPAI as a diversion from the real prize — offshore oil," emphasized Hamburg. "He reminds us that while it was during the George W. years that the possibility of drilling off the Mendocino coast reemerged, the Obama administration has done nothing to reinstate a moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf."

Hamburg said that Lewallen’s concern was "recently amplified" by the appointment of Catherine Reheis-Boyd to the MLPAI’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for the MLPA's North Coast Study Region, a group of supposedly “knowledgeable and highly credible public leaders” selected by Mike Chrisman, Schwarzenegger’s Secretary of Natural Resources. Reheis-Boyd, after serving as chief operating officer and chief of staff of the Western States Petroleum Association, became the association's president on January 1, 2010.

In August, Chrisman selected Reheis Boyd to be the chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast. She also served on the task force for the North Central Coast, helping to engineer a process that will ban the Kashia Pomo Indian Tribe and other tribes from harvesting seaweed, mussels and abalone as they have done for centuries off Stewarts Point and Point Arena starting April 1.

"I urge everyone in Mendocino County to become familiar with the MLPAI and the process currently underway for the area from Point Arena to the Oregon border," Hamburg concluded. "A good place to start is with Frank Hartzell’s excellent series that ran in the Fort Bragg Advocate-News last summer. Additional information is available on the Albion Harbor Regional Alliance website at albionharbor.org."

Hamburg is a well respected North Coast political leader, environmental advocate and writer. While in Congress, Hamburg authored the Headwaters Forest Act, a bill that passed the House overwhelmingly. After leaving Congress, he was active in the struggle to preserve the 60,000 acre Headwaters Forest Complex.

Since 1997, Hamburg has served as Executive Director of Voice of the Environment, a 501 (c-3) not-for-profit Montana-based corporation formed in 1991. The group's mission is to "educate the public regarding the transfer of public trust assets into private, mostly corporate, hands."

Hamburg is now running for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. He was on the board from 1981 to 1985.

Hamburg joins a growing group of environmentalists, Indian Tribes, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers and elected officials that are challenging Schwarzenegger's MLPA process for its conflicts of interests, mission creep and corruption of the democratic process.

In December, Organic Sacramento, a local environmental and sustainable food group, co-sponsored the "Organic Capital Celebration of Sustainability" with Friends of the River to honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding work on crucial water issues, including the campaigns to restore the Delta and stop the peripheral canal, to stop the Nestle Water Plant in Sacramento and for environmental justice under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).

The groups honored Atta P. Stephenson, traditional North Coast tribal seaweed harvester, for her dedication to defending tribal fishing and seaweed harvesting rights under the MLPA process, as well as for her many efforts on behalf on environmental water justice. Kim Glazzard of Organic Sacramento also recognized Vern Goehring of the California Fisheries Coalition and Edwin Nieves of the Mendocino Seaweed Stewardship Alliance for the great work they have done to fight for the rights of sustainable fishermen and seaweed harvesters under threat by the MLPA initiative.

The North Coast MLPA process is in its initial stages. The recently appointed MLPA stakeholder group held its first meeting in Eureka on February 7 and 8.

The group includes 32 residents of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties within the MLPA North Coast Study Region, which encompasses state waters from the California-Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County. The stakeholder group includes "representatives of recreational angling and diving groups, tribes, commercial fishing and other ocean-dependent business interests, ports and harbors, conservation groups, educational and research interests, and government agencies," according to a news release from the MLPA Initiative.

Real environmentalists oppose the attempt by Schwarzenegger and his collaborators to kick commercial fishermen, tribal seaweed harvesters, commercial seaweed harvesters and recreational anglers and divers off public trust ocean waters to clear a path for offshore oil rigs, wave energy projects and corporate aquaculture. They support those who are fighting for social and environmental justice both inside and outside of the MLPA process.

Local fishermen named to MLPA group

Ukiah Daily Journal
February 16, 2010

Jim Bassler, a Mendocino County commercial fisherman, has been added to the Marine Life Protection Act North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. The stakeholder group is responsible for developing recommendations for alternative marine protected areas to help the State of California implement the Marine Life Protection Act.

There was a local push to get someone from this county in a position on the stakeholder list and calls and letters went to the director of Fish and Game, John McCamman, and the chairwoman of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, Cindy Gustafson, to request more representation of commercial fishing interests in the Mendocino County area.

Members of the stakeholder group are intended to help ensure that multiple perspectives are heard as the state prepares to close off new ocean areas for protection.

"Bassler has the experience and ability to reach out and include not only commercial fishing interests but also the interests of all communities along the Mendocino coastline," Gustafson said.

Bassler is a small-boat fisherman who fishes primarily for nearshore rockfish, crab and salmon along the Mendocino coast; he a member of the Salmon Trollers Marketing Association in Fort Bragg.

Bassler's addition brings the stakeholder group to a total of 32 residents of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties within the MLPA North Coast Study Region, which encompasses state waters from the California-Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County.

The stakeholder group will work with a blue ribbon task force, science advisory team, and MLPA staff to help California improve the design and management of the north coast portion of a statewide network of marine protected areas.

Meetings have begun, the first of which were held in Eureka at the beginning of February.

Fore more information about the MLPA Initiative, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa.

Officials show concern

By Barbara Diamond, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot
February 11, 2010

Emergency actions taken by the City Council at the Feb. 2 meeting reflected city officials’ concerns about the health of Laguna’s coastal waters and its denizens.

The council voted unanimously to direct the city manager to ensure that a city staff member of his choice or an elected official would attend hearings that pertain to the council majority’s support for a citywide marine reserve and to endorse a federal grant to restore the abalone population along Laguna’s shoreline.

Councilwoman Jane Egly sponsored the addition of the item titled “State Marine Reserve” and Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman introduced the item “Application for a Federal Grant to Support Abalone Revitalization.”

Both items were added to the agenda on a 4-1 vote. Councilman Kelly Boyd voted against the addition of both items because he did not see them until 1 p.m. the afternoon of the meeting and felt the public did not have time to respond to the proposals.

Although Boyd seconded the motion on Egly’s recommendation, he said his support was limited to Egly’s position that City Manager Ken Frank is the person to pick who goes to what meetings to represent the city.

“I am still absolutely opposed to the reserve,” Boyd said Wednesday.

Representation at state hearings

Egly agreed that Boyd supported her opposition to a suggestion by Councilwoman Verna Rollinger that the city’s marine safety officer be assigned to attend the meetings.

“It is my understanding that what Kelly supported was the recommendation that the city manager direct who goes to Fish and Game [hearings],” Egly said. “I don’t believe at all that he was supporting the city’s position on this [reserve] issue.”

Egly, Boyd and Mayor Elizabeth Pearson opined that the council should not usurp the city manager’s authority over staff assignments.

City employees have assigned duties that could conflict with meeting dates, Frank said. Besides, he said, sometimes it was more appropriate for the mayor or an elected official to represent the city at public meetings.

Frank added that he had tried to find out when or if the Fish and Game Commission would be considering the Laguna Beach Marine Reserve, but was unsuccessful. It is also possible that the Orange County Task Force that developed proposals for South County could be reconvened.

“We need to know what meetings are coming up and what person is appropriate to attend them,” Pearson said.

Egly said that was the substance of her motion.

Laguna resident Fred Sattler urged the council to appoint a member of the Marine Life Protection Act process to represent the city.

“We need someone who was part of the process,” Sattler said. “We need someone who can say why Laguna Beach was chosen as a reserve and why it should be the length of the city.”

During public comment, South Laguna resident Barbara Pincheny claimed scare tactics were being used to turn the public against the reserve, which is favored by many environmentalists.

Bill Shedd, who conducted the store-front collection of signatures of local voters opposed to the reserve, said less than 50 of the people he personally spoke to out of the 1,900 signators agreed with the council’s position.

“The majority of folks who live here aren’t in favor of what the city [council] is doing and I am having a tough time with spending money on something people don’t want,” Shedd said, referring to the cost of sending a representative to the meetings.

Boyd noted that the Fish and Game Commission indicated that a final decision on the marine reserve designation would be a lengthy process, and a decision might not be reached until the fall.

Abalone restoration sought

Iseman brought the second item to the council: sponsorship of a $200,000 grant application for a project to increase the diminishing number of abalone off Laguna’s shores.

She said Nancy Caruso, known as the Kelp Lady, would be responsible for most of the work related to the application. The grant application must be submitted through a municipal, county or state government, according to a staff report.

Caruso reported that the program would involve local schools and other organizations in planting up to 1,000 abalone per year.

Boyd took issue with the report, which outlines the history of California’s once-abundant abalone population, and states that the abalones were decimated by commercial fishing after the 1950s.

“Many abalones were killed through withered foot disease, not just taking by humans,” Boyd said.

Mendocino County Asks for More Local Representation on MLPA Panel

By Dan Bacher, IndyBay
February 11, 2010

The Mendocino County of Supervisors has told state officials overseeing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's controversial Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that more representation of the diverse interests found in the county is needed on the Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG).

"We are concerned that the slate of RSG appointees for Mendocino County does not adequately represent the diverse interests of our county," said Carre Brown, chair of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, in a February 9 letter to California Department of Fish and Game Director John McCamman and MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force Chair Cindy Gustafson.

"The appointment of additional stakeholders, representing critical interests which currently appear underrepresented or completely omitted, will ensure that a more comprehensive cross-section of our community is able to participate in this process. This enhanced diversity will ultimately lead to a better final product," Brown stated.

Brown pointed out that the RSG appointments for Mendocino County now include 3 educators, 3 tribal representatives, 1 ornithologist, 1 commercial fisherman, and 3 individuals with experience in seaweed harvesting, sea urchin diving and processing, and recreational fishing.

The stakeholder group will work with a blue ribbon task force, science advisory team, and MLPA staff "to help California improve the design and management of the north coast portion of a statewide network of marine protected areas," according to Annie Reisewitz from the MLPA Initiative.

Brown charged that the southern portion of the County "has no representation." She urged McCamman and Gustafson to appoint RSG nominees, Mike Carpenter and Bruce Campbell, both of Albion, since they "have met or exceeded the RSG selection criteria."

She also criticized the lack of commercial fishing representatives from Mendocino County. After receiving many letters from local residents, the MLPA staff finally appointed Jim Bassler, a commercial fisherman from Fort Bragg, to the panel on February 6.
"Even with the MLPAI's recent nomination of Jim Bassler, there is limited Mendocino County representation for commercial crab, salmon, and nearshore permit holders," said Brown. "Stakeholders with this unique background have invaluable knowledge regarding seasonal trends in fish and invertebrate populations (abundance and distribution), and rare oceanic events typically experienced only by individuals actively working in the commercial sector."

She urged the two officials to appoint RSG nominee Tom Estes, a commercial groundfish and large boat crab fisherman, to fill this gap in representation.

Finally, Brown noted that Del Norte and Humboldt County Harbor District are represented on the RSG, while Mendocino County's Noyo Harbor District is inexplicably not.

"This representation on the RSG could be attained through the appointment of Jim Burns, Noyo Harbor Commissioner, or a similar delegate," she said.

The Fort Bragg City Council on February 10 also sent a letter to Gustafson and McCamman requesting them to appoint a member of the RSG from the Albion area. "Four persons from that port followed the nomination process set out by the MLPAI, and all were passed over," wrote Doug Hammerstrom, Mayor, Dave Turner, Vice Mayor, Meg Courtney, Council Member, Dan Gjerde, Council Member, and Jere Melo, Council Member.

The Council disputed the MLPA staff's claims that the process is "open and transparent," when they believe the process is in fact plagued with a lack of transparency and bias.

"The MLPAI staff has repeatedly praised the process as being public and open," the letter stated. "Yet there are many deviations from the announced process. For the North Coast RSG, a specific process with deadlines was established for nominatinos, interviews and appointments."

The Council emphasized that this process was not used in the appointment of some RSG members, pointing to "a lack of transparency and bias that undermines the integrity of the entire MLPA."

"This is a very serious problem," they concluded, "and the MLPAI will continue to suffer from a lack of public trust until a truly open and public process that considers local communities is imposed."

The stakeholder group currently includes total of 32 residents of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties within the MLPA North Coast Study Region, which encompasses state waters from the California-Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County. The first meeting of the stakeholder group was held in Eureka on February 7 and 8.

North Coast environmentalists, fishermen, Indian Tribes and seaweed harvesters have strongly criticized the MLPA process for being rife with conflicts of interests, mission creep and corruption of the democratic process. Many believe that Schwarzenegger and his collaborators are using the MLPA Initiative to remove tribal seaweed gatherers, recreational anglers, commercial seaweed harvesters and commercial fishermen, the greatest advocates for the preservation and restoration of ocean fisheries, to clear a path for offshore oil rigs, wave energy projects and corporate aquaculture.

The MPLA, a state law passed in 1999 with support from a broad coalition of environmentalists and fishermen, has under Schwarzeneggger become a surrealistic parody of marine "protection," with oil industry, real estate, marina development and other corporate interests overseeing the process, critics of the initiative charge.