Friday, December 28, 2012
President Obama has announced that he will add 2,093 square nautical miles to the sanctuary system off California, expanding protection from Bodega Bay in Sonoma County to Point Arena in Mendocino County. Richard Charter, a Senior Fellow at The Ocean Foundation, said that “this is an historic and globally significant piece of protection.” It is also something that Richard Charter has been working to accomplish for about 35 years.
President Obama gets credit for using his executive powers to get around the refusal of the House of Representatives to extend the Sanctuary’s boundaries. Great credit should also be given to Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Lynn Woolsey, who have been working tirelessly in Congress to make this happen.
But Richard Charter gets a large share of the credit, too! He has been working to protect the California coast for a long time, and whatever his “job title” may have been, he has never ceased to be a “citizen activist” for ocean and coastal protection. The transcript of today’s Land Use Report has a link to a more extensive discussion, but know this: Richard Charter first began working for coastal and ocean protection as a contractor for Santa Cruz County. He, and other local activists, applying our brand of “utopian thinking,” helped create the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, and have made this latest sanctuary expansion happen, too.