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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Copied from The World News Paper 8/23/07

The Marine Reserves Working Group, a subcommittee of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council, planned to review the objectives for marine reserves and the public nomination process at its Wednesday meeting in Charleston.

OPAC fine-tuned the objectives at its meeting in Tillamook in July.

Working group members and OPAC members were provided with an 18-page color handout, titled “Draft Policy Guidance for MRWG Review Only.”
No copies of the draft were made available to the public, nor were charts and most other documents referenced by the group made public or available online. A limited number of copies of a revised marine reserve implementation timeline were available to a few members of the audience and OPAC did have a working copy of the draft guidance visible on a screen, however. But none were made readily available to the public prior to audience members being given time to speak.

The draft was changed during the meeting and some of the issues that OPAC worked to resolve previously were amended and changed. Some objectives were dropped completely.

Draft language for the overall purpose read:

“The State of Oregon is establishing a network of marine reserves along our coast as part of an overall strategy to manage its marine waters and submerged lands using an ecosystem-based approach. The overall purpose of MRs is to help protect, sustain, or restore the nearshore marine ecosystem, its habitats and species for the heritage values they represent to present and future generations. Such action complements the collective efforts of Oregon, Washington and California to manage the California Current in an ecosystem-based manner as expressed in the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health.”

The marine reserve goal is to: “Protect and sustain a network of ecologically-special places in Oregon's territorial sea to conserve marine habitats and biodiversity, provide a framework for scientific research and effectiveness monitoring and minimize possible adverse social and economic impacts on ocean users and ocean-dependent communities.”

Eleven objectives were divided into three categories: to conserve marine habitats and biodiversity; to provide for scientific research and monitoring; and to minimize adverse social and economic impacts.

The group evaluated most of them, dropped some, changed the wording on others and left most of the business of evaluating a nomination form undone until the working group or OPAC meets again.

The next OPAC meeting tentatively is scheduled for sometime in September.

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