SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Joined by a bevy of Hollywood‟s most visible environmental activists, an alliance of leading ocean conservation groups today released a Public Service Announcement supporting the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the Southern California coast.
Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation, Save Our Coast and Shifting Baselines produced the PSA, which features actor PIERCE BROSNAN and wife KEELY BROSNAN, “Scrubs‟‟ stars JOHN C. MCGINLEY and CHRISTA MILLER, Heal the Bay board member and actress AMY SMART, fashion model/pro volleyball player GABBY REECE, EDIE MCCLURG (“Ferris Bueller‟s Day Off”), and SIMON HELBERG (“The Big Bang Theory”).
MPAs are areas of the ocean set aside as safe havens to conserve marine life and their habitats. By sheltering ocean wildlife from exploitation, studies show their populations are able to rebound. Just as national parks have been created on land to preserve nature, the creation of MPAs will protect the special places in the underwater world.
“Marine Protected Areas are an absolutely critical strategy in protecting California‟s coastal oceans for future generations,” said Mark Gold, D. Env., president of Heal the Bay. “Our campaign conveys a clear and powerful message: California is creating MPAs for one simple reason -- MPAs work.”
California officials have been working to institute MPAs along the California coast since the Marine Life Protection Act was passed in 1999. The law requires the establishment of a statewide network of MPAs to protect habitats and marine life populations. The open and transparent process is guided by recommendations from scientists, resource managers, stakeholders and members of the public.
“For years people have been saying to us, „Enough with the problems, we want to hear about solutions,‟” said Randy Olson, Ph.D., director of Shifting Baselines and creator of the “MPAs Work” campaign. “Now we can finally say to them, „We have an answer: MPAs, and they work.‟ ”
The process of creating MPAs in the Southern California region from San Diego to Santa Barbara, is now in its final stage. The PSA aims to raise awareness about the benefits of MPAs and to encourage public participation in determining their boundaries.
The PSA directs the public to visit MPAsWork.org. Visitors are invited to send letters of support, attend public meetings, and learn more about the process of establishing MPAs. The state plans to announce its final list of Southern California MPAs in December.
About Heal the Bay Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. We use research, education, community action and advocacy to pursue our mission.
CONTACT: Matthew King, Heal the Bay, (310) 451-1500, x137 or (310) 850-1145