Mendocino Coastline Threats

From Annie Esposito

3/30/09 Ukiah, North California

The Mendocino Coastline is facing three threats right now.  (Well, at least three.)  Offshore oil and gas development are back on the table, along with experiments in wave energy generation.  And the Navy wants to extend military training on the coast.

The Navy does a kind of high tech target practice out of Puget Sound, which extends down to the Humboldt-Mendocino line.  Supervisor John McCowan notes that fish and sea mammals don’t know about the line; and high tech target practice will affect Mendocino’s coast as well.  Officials from the Navy will be at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday March 31st, at 4 pm. They will be answering questions from the Supervisors and the public.  Community members are encouraged to be there to let the Navy know that there are grave concerns about militarization of the coast and the threat it poses both to peace and marine habitat.

Meanwhile Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, will be in San Francisco April 16th. It is the nearest of several regional meetings on energy development on the outer continental shelf.  Judith Vidaver of the Mendocino County chapter of the Sierra Club is encouraging people to attend that meeting as well.  People will get a chance to inform the Secretary about regional opposition to offshore drilling and experimental wave energy devices.  And people can also give their input on the militarization of the coast while they’re at it.  For information on car pooling, people can contact Vidaver at 964-2742.  If there are 50 people interested in going, they may rent a bus.  It would leave from Willits early in the morning, to get to San Francisco by 8:30 a.m. – again, on Thursday, April 16th.