Imagine a network of fully protected marine reserves along the Pacific Coast of the United States, where creatures such as the Lion’s Mane jelly fish, shown here, and other marine animals can thrive forever.
Under current laws, less than 1 percent of the ocean is protected. As a result, overfishing, pollution and increased human use continue to devastate the ocean’s resources.
SeaWeb, a marine conservation organization, and the Ocean Wilderness Network, a coalition of regional and national organizations, have launched a campaign, Less than One, for such a network. Log on to www.lessthanone.org to see some of their work.
The issue of marine reserves is at a pivotal point in California and is the primary focus of Less Than One. California’s Marine Life Protection Act, adopted in October 1999, requires that the state’s Department of Fish and Game develop a plan for establishing networks of marine reserves in California waters. Policy makers and other stakeholders are currently engaged in the creation of marine reserves within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.