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Joint Oceans Commission Report highlights Ventura EBM

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  • Paul Jenkin
    http://www.jointoceancommission.org This week the Joint Ocean Commission released a report highlighting actions that ned to be taken to protect and restore our
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2009
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      This week the Joint Ocean Commission released a report highlighting actions that ned to be taken to protect and restore our coast and ocean.  The report highlights Ventura as one of the west coast communities actively working to put integrated, ecosystem-based approaches into practice in the management of ocean and coastal resources they depend on for high quality of life and a vibrant coastal economy.  This is the result of the Ventura Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation's work on Surfers' Point, Matilija Dam, and stormwater and watershed management.

      The report presents the Joint Initiative’s recommendations for actions local and state  elected leaders can take to improve the health of coastal ecosystems and economies. The recommendations focus on: 
         * Actions local leaders can take to implement an integrated, ecosystem-based approach  
         * Actions state legislatures can take to support local communities in this effort  
         * Ways both local and state leaders can begin to address coastal climate change impacts   
         * Strategies coastal communities and state legislatures can employ to ensure the resources needed to implement the recommendations are available 
         * On-the-ground examples of how local and state governments on the West Coast are already making progress toward an integrated, ecosystem-based approach 

      The Ventura Ecosystem-based management project was highlighted in this month's Making Waves, the Surfrider Foundation's publication.  The article is posted on the blog here: http://venturaecosystem.blogspot.com/

      Local press:

      Report urges cooperation to protect coastal zones

      By Zeke Barlow
      Thursday, January 15, 2009

      Nature doesn’t adhere to political boundaries, so the politicians and legislators who seek to protect the environment need to step outside their traditional boundaries and re-examine the way laws and policies are set.

      That is one of the many suggestions set forth in a report released today titled “One Coast, One Future,” which outlines how local, state and federal agencies need to change and collaborate to be better stewards of the environment.

      The report, put out by the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, is meant to serve as a blueprint for how governments can work together better to deal with pressures on the ocean and the towns that touch it. Ventura is cited as an example of one city that uses “ecosystem-based management,” that looks at the entire environment when making policy decisions.

      Ventura City Councilman Brian Brennan said government agencies too often work against each other and the natural environment ends up being the loser.

      “We are trying to get policies aligned,” he said of the report, for which he gave input. “When you get down to it, it’s more difficult to get someone on the same page.”

      The Joint Ocean Commission, comprised of U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission, created the report after 19 elected officials — including Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara — asked for guidance on how to implement policy on the local and state level that best protects the ocean.

      At the federal level there are more than 140 laws and dozens of agencies that deal with ocean protection. When those are combined with local and state laws and agencies, the challenge of protecting the environment is daunting, the report says.

      “I think the purpose of the report is that it will refocus attention on coastal issues, sustainability and quality of life,” Nava said. He said the Assembly’s coastal caucus recently began meeting again after at least a five-year hiatus and its members — all of whom have coastal districts — will use it as a guide to see how to better work with local and federal groups on ocean issues. “I was really pleased with the outcome of the report.”

      The report suggests managing resources on an ecosystem level as opposed to ones drawn up by political or jurisdictional boundaries.

      “We need to have our leaders involved to realize that the way we do the management is not working,” said Laura Cantral, a senior staff member on the commission. “The way we have been managing the resource is not working and we are going to have to change that.”

      Brennan said that two government agencies can be seeking diametrically opposed goals when it comes to managing water, fisheries and other natural resources.

      The report says that while conflicts of ocean use already exist — such as military use, recreational fishing, shipping and protecting endangered species — more are going to emerge in the future that will complicate things. Many of those issues, such as global warming, offshore aquaculture, LNG plants and new marine reserves, are issues that will be addressed in Ventura County.

      Cantral said there is the political will out there to better protect the ocean’s health.

      “This is a critical issue and not just an environmental issue. It’s an economic one because it’s related to the viability of the coastal economy,” she said.

      On the Net:


      Paul Jenkin
      Surfrider Foundation - Ventura Campaign Coordinator
      805-648-4005     pjenkin@...

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