Richard Charter, who is absolutely right about national marine sanctuaries, provided a nice balance to COLAB’s freak-out blast in the daily paper, which was absolutely wrong. A January 6 meeting held by NOAA in Morro Bay further underscored the dramatic contrast between the facts of sanctuary designation and the fears of opponents.

It would be ironic if right-wing ideologues succeeded in blocking designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. As Charter pointed out, a recent study confirmed that “California’s national marine sanctuaries to our north have boosted their adjacent local economies, a lot.” Hence, the know-nothing fear-mongering that characterizes the opposition to sanctuary designation by the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business is bad for business and the economic future of the Central Coast.

All those who know what it means to live in a coastal-dependent economy should think about that. Then they should sign the petition urging the start of the designation process for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. Go to

Andrew Christie is director of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club.


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