June 13, 2020

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Dear Office of National Marine Sanctuaries:

On June 8, the San Luis Obispo Democratic Party (SLOCDP) at our monthly Central Committee meeting voted overwhelmingly, as we did in 2015, in support of the federal creation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary along the coast of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. It’s now time to make the Sanctuary a reality.

SLOCDP knows that our local economy depends on a healthy marine habitat, a precious, irreplaceable asset that provides food, clean water, jobs and a healthy environment for our families, neighbors, businesses and visitors to enjoy. Establishing the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is clearly in everyone’s best interests because by doing so we will be able to prohibit harmful discharges into the ocean, maintain water quality, protect vital fish habitat, and avoid any deleterious exploitation of our offshore resources.

Chumash people’s historic seafaring heritage is unique and their cultural values are grounded in the reverence and protection of our planet. Unfortunately, recognition and appreciation of our indigenous community’s history and culture have consistently been absent or undervalued in our public dialogue at the national, state and local level. With the creation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, our counties, state and country will take an impressive step to rectify this mistake.

The Chumash people’s culture, the beauty and biological diversity of our coastal waters, and the greening of our counties’ economies argue persuasively for the federal government to create the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

We are proud to add our voices to the already strong local support for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Sincerely,

Rita Casaverde – Chair
Ellen Beraud – Vice Chair
Gabriel Granados – Vice Chair
San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party