Here are suggested talking points for the two Curry County sites:
Crook Point-Mack Reef
◾️ The Crook Point-Mack Reef (CP-MR) proposal closely reflects what the public has said it wanted since 1994.
◾️ CP-MR was designated as a Habitat Refuge (which corresponds to the Marine Conservation Area designation in the current process) in 1994, but the earlier designation was never implemented.
◾️ The proposed boundaries of the CP-MR Marine Conservation Area were science-based, and should remain intact, again reflecting what the public wants.
◾️ The CP-MR MCA proposal recommendations include no restrictions to existing human uses (including fishing or research) and no new regulations.
◾️ Non-regulatory management measures proposed include developing a volunteer stewardship program, whose functions would include (but not be limited to):
🔹 public education
🔹 overseeing rocky habitats, resources and human uses (or misuses like impacts to wildlife)
🔹 protecting threatened habitats and species into the future, e.g., abalone, kelp forests
◾️ MCA designation would change the status quo by fostering cooperation between the volunteer stewardship program and land management agencies with limited capacity or funds to manage and maintain the rocky habitats that are important to our environmental and economic future.
◾️ While protected on the landward side by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Crook Point Unit uplands, which are closed to the public, the adjacent coastal rocky habitat is increasingly accessed by the public via an easy 1.5 mile walk along the beach on good low tides. It is near to Highway 101 and easily reached from the shore by increasing numbers of people—visitation is clearly rising. Contrary to statements made in the Rocky Habitat Working Group’s recommendations,
the CP-MR area is no more remote than many other parts of the coast. At present, the rocky habitat is intact, yet some resources are threatened. The wildlife refuge does not protect the rocky coast habitats. The rocky habitat deserves a higher level of protection to match that for the wildlife refuge and nearby Pistol River State Park.
◾️ Marine Conservation Areas are not Marine Reserves. The main purpose of this proposed MCA is to foster public stewardship and public education, without imposing restrictions or regulations, whereas marine reserves are no-take areas set aside for scientific research.
◾️ Management as proposed for this MCA would include recommended new signage, informing the public about the habitat and species present and encouraging respectful, non-damaging behavior.