Protection of our new marine reserves and enforcement of the Fish and Game regulations will be easier than people might think. Already, many of our residents are aware of the importance of restoring our marine habitats. Likewise, tourists to Laguna share a desire to see our marine life rebound.
Not only is the public better educated and sensitive to the need to restore our fisheries due to precipitous declines, but Laguna has its own resources that will be helpful. In addition to our marine protection officer, we have lifeguards and animal control officers, and even the police that can write tickets. We have substantial community resources to aid enforcement officials, like Laguna Ocean Foundation’s tidewater docents and educators.
Finally, the general public can easily understand the meaning of “No Take” and can alert enforcement officials when necessary. We no longer have to remember all the different fish you can or can’t take and what size they have to be or whether it is the right season. It’s simple, “No Take” of any species.
I look forward to the new Laguna State Marine Reserve and think it will bring restoration of the marine habitat and an increase in the local eco-tourism industry. Many thanks to our City Council and all the local groups and individuals who made this happen by writing letters and attending the numerous public meetings over the last two and half years. Thanks to the Fish and Game commissioners for this “X-mas gift” to Laguna!
Sandy Dildine, Laguna Beach