Thursday, July 22, 2010

7.21.10 - Coastal Justice Coalition Press Release

Coastal Justice Coalition

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2010

Georgiana Myers, Coastal Justice Coalition: (707) 951-5548,
Frankie Myers, Klamath Justice Coalition: (707) 951-5052,

California Tribes and Allies March to Protect Ocean Resources and Tribal Rights

California coastal Tribes and their allies are marching to the Marine Life Protection Act’s (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force Meeting on Wednesday afternoon July 21st, 2010 in Fort Bragg, CA to defend traditional gathering rights on California’s coastline.

“In our view the MLPA is another attack on tribal rights and sovereignty. So we feel we must defend our rights through non-violent direct action when necessary,” said Dania Rose Colegrove, a Hoopa Tribal member and Coastal Justice Coalition (CJC) activist.

The Coastal Justice Coalition (CJC), a branch of the Klamath Justice Coalition, is an activist group comprised of tribal people and interested community members concerned with social and environmental issues along the Pacific coast. The CJC believes that the MLPA initiative will have negative impacts on traditional subsistence gathering along the Pacific coast. Some tribal members have taken the position that regardless of the outcome of the MLPA process they will continue to gather, a position that the CJC fully supports and encourages.

“The MLPA process completely disregards tribal gathering rights and only permits discussion of commercial and recreational harvest. The whole process is inherently flawed by institutionalized racism. It doesn’t recognize Tribes as political entities, or Tribal biologists as legitimate scientists,” said Frankie Myers, Yurok Tribal member and CJC activist.

Background Information:

The MLPA, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Gray Davis in 1999, is very broad in scope. The law was intended to not only restrict or prohibit fishing in a network of “marine protected areas,” but to address other “human uses” and “extractive activities” including coastal development and water pollution.

The Schwarzenegger administration has taken all other “human uses” and “extractive activities” other than fishing and seaweed harvesting off the table in the implementation of the MLPA process. The MLPA initiative does nothing to stop water pollution, oil drilling, and wave energy projects or other activities from destroying fish and other marine life populations in California’s coastal waters.

Schwarzenegger has appointed oil industry, marina development, real estate and other corporate interests with numerous conflicts of interest to the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces. Many MLPA Initiative critics believe that Schwarzenegger has appointed these corporate operatives to these task forces to remove fishermen and Indian Tribal members, the staunchest supporters of true ocean protection, from their fishing and gathering grounds to pave the way for ocean industrialization and privatization.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, is chair of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast and now serves on the MLPA panel for the North Coast. In spite of the environmental and economic devastation caused by the BP Oil Gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, she has called for new oil drilling off the California coast.


Times Standard Article
Native American groups protest MLPA Scientific Advisory Committee

The Global Realm Article
Blaming the Tribes, Greenwashing Big Oil

Should Oil Lobbyists Write and Implement California's Environmental Laws?


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