The problem with stakeholders | Letters | San Luis Obispo

Former Morro Bay Mayor Janice Peters was wrong in her suggestions for the proposed Chumash National Heritage Marine Sanctuary (“Amended Proposal,” Jan. 27). The process certainly does not need a stakeholder group. During the creation of marine protected areas along the California coast, I was proud to have played a small role, in which I saw the whole process greatly hampered by what she now suggests for the sanctuary. Stakeholders tend to have widely divergent goals, and a sanctuary has only one: the return to health and abundance of the marine environment. During the marine protected area process, stakeholder groups responded to the Blue Ribbon Panel, which was chaired by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who also happened to be president of Western States Petroleum. In this capacity, she oversaw what was or was not on the agenda. She skilfully guided the process around the subject of fracking at sea, so we never got into this destructive process, only finding out about it after marine protected areas were chosen and implemented. In other words, we have been sabotaged. Janice Peters posed as a conservationist even though she herself was the only one to vote against full secondary treatment of sewage effluent from Morro Bay. She never encountered an industrial use of our coastal waters that she did not like. The one thing our long-awaited and much-needed National Marine Sanctuary doesn’t need is the bucket of political verse she suggests.

Joseph John Racano

Director, Ocean Outfall Group

Los Osos

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