California’s sea conservation efforts turn a year old

January 31, 2013 by  

January saw a number of efforts made to address California’s sea life, after Laguna Bluebelt and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) celebrated its first anniversary this month.

On New Year’s Day last year, South California welcomed a newly established network of its Underwater Parks, with the total number of MPAs in California now numbering over 100. Now covering 16% of waters in California, the MPAs are set up to conserve aquatic wildlife and maintain the beauty of California’s coast, in much the same way as conservation areas on land can benefit land-based life.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, were taken to task by some environmental groups earlier this month. The belief held by the Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana and the Turtle Island Restoration Network is that these two agencies have failed in their duty to protect an endangered species of turtles.

Loggerhead turtles have a wide-ranging habitat – they start in Japan where they nest, travel past Hawaii, and then feed their way from Baja up the California coastline. According to Ben Enticknap, Oceana’s Pacific project manager, San Diego is a feeding “hot spot” for them.

Considering the difficulty of raising support among the public for environment issues, perhaps a campaign with a postcard printing would be helpful. Depicting the loggerhead sea turtles in all their glory and explaining their plight might gain sympathy and support within areas like El Cajon and Spring Valley that are not too far from the coast.