Protected marine areas beginning to grow teeth in La Jolla
by DAVE SCHWAB
Feb 24, 2014 | 3351 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
La Jolla has two adjoining marine protected areas at the South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area and South La Jolla State Reserve, which together cover 7.51 square miles. COURTESY PHOTO BY COASTKEEPER SAN DIEGO
La Jolla has two adjoining marine protected areas at the South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area and South La Jolla State Reserve, which together cover 7.51 square miles. COURTESY PHOTO BY COASTKEEPER SAN DIEGO
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La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) trustees heard a presentation this month about a cash-back solar incentive program and were updated on marine protected areas (MPA) that bar fishing in order to replenish species in select offshore locations, including two in the La Jolla area.

The LJTC also voted to conceptually approve five points proposed by the La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board.

That proposal calls for continuing the employee discounted parking-pass program, installing a smartphone-based system to track parking-space vacancies, an unsubsidized central valet parking system, funding startup of a self-sustaining Village shuttle and buying a high-tech parking monitoring system for San Diego police to enforce existing time limits.

“We’re hoping the City Council and Coastal Commission can come back to us and give their opinion on what’s being proposed,” said coastal access and parking board chairman Dan Allen.

“All these things are very expensive and no money will be spent until we have the concept,” said LJTC president Cindy Greatrex.

Zach Plopper, coastal and marine director for Wildcoast, an international nonprofit conserving coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife, told the trustees San Diego now has several MPAs in effect up and down the coast. These MPAs, he said, totally preclude or severely limit the take of fish and other marine wildlife within their boundaries.

La Jolla has two adjoining MPAs at the South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area and South La Jolla State Reserve, which togther cover 7.51 square miles. They are two of 36 new marine protected areas adopted by the California Department of Fish and Game Commission as part of the Marine Life Protection Act. The new MPAs took effect in 2012.

“The MPAs are designed to allow fisheries to recover, as well as the general ecosystem that has been degraded,” Plopper said.

He added that some MPAs “allow no taking of living or nonliving resources” within their boundaries.

Plopper handed out and discussed fishing guides that are provided by Wildcoast concerning San Diego’s marine protected areas. The guides define the three types of marine protected areas in San Diego and provide details for what is, and what is not allowed in terms of fishing within the boundaries.

“We’re getting word out to the public that we’re enforcing these regulations and posting signage,” said Plopper.

Ongoing data collection from MPAs like La Jolla’s are “important to planning and managing our coastline,” he said.

Anne Bessinger of San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power told LJTC about a chance homeowners and businesses have to participate in a La Jolla solar program through April 15.

Property owners who sign up with Sullivan Solar Power will receive 20 cents per watt, up to $1,500 cash back for going solar.

“Solar energy is the most abundant source of energy available to us,” said Bessinger, adding that

87 percent of solar power used nationally comes from California.

“San Diego is the No. 1 solar city in the No. 1 solar state,” said Bessinger.

Even with this fact in mind, Bessinger said less than 1 percent of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources like solar.

“There’s lots of room to grow,” said Bessinger, who pointed out converting from electrical to solar not only saves money in the long run but also is a “clean and renewable” energy source that increases property values.

“Solar homes sell faster than non-solar homes,” Bessinger said.

Going solar to power one’s home also saves consumers money by “locking in” electricity rates, resultingly affording protection from rate increases in the future, she pointed out.

“Electricity has been increasing yearly by an average of 6 percent,” said Bessinger.

La Jolla’s Solar Incentive Program is exlusive to La Jolla property owners and is limited to 100 participants, or 500,000 watts, whichever comes first.

Bessinger also offered the Town Council its own solar incentive.

“For every referral who signs a solar contract with Sullivan Solar Power that comes from the La Jolla Town Council Foundation, Sullivan will donate $500 to the Town Council for community projects in La Jolla,” Bessinger said.
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Markavelli
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February 24, 2014
Increased restrictions on private fishing is all that was needed. Not a total ban.

Who cares whats going on under the sea now. Nobody knows unless you are a diver.

But I am sure the enviros are sleeping better after reading this story....