Key to gaining public support in establishing marine protected areas and natural protected areas is including the public in the process of identifying, designating and maintaining these special areas. On September 23-24, 2010, a workshop was held at the Aquarium of the Pacific that brought together scientists, environmental managers, policy-makers, informal educators, and stakeholders to develop public outreach strategies for two areas with different challenges but the same need to protect ocean resources—the Gulf of California and the Southern California Bight. This report is a summary of the workshop discussion and recommendations.
The Southern California Bight (SCB) is a highly developed region with multiple and diverse uses by a population of more than 20 million people. The challenge is to allocate human uses and uses by marine life in a sustainable way.
The Gulf of California is sparsely developed and has a population of only about 8.6 million people, many of whom depend upon the gulf for their livelihoods. Fishing is a major source of income for them. The challenges here are to work for sustainable development and to ensure that plans for designation of special ocean places will enhance the standard of living of those whose livelihood depends on the Gulf of California resources.