The problem is simple: the plants and animals in our oceans are dying

The problem is simple: the plants and animals in our oceans are dying. They are under attack from oil drilling, overfishing, and climate change, and we need to increase protections before it is too late. I know the phrase “before it’s too late” gets thrown around a lot in relation to climate issues, but the timeline is especially important in the case of setting marine protection standards in California. Currently, only about 10% of California coastal waters are classified as marine protected areas (MPAs), and experts say these protections must be increased to 30% to protect California from environmental collapse.

Here’s where the pressing timeline comes in: this March, California state agencies are making some decisions about marine protections. They are going to increase, decrease, or keep marine protection goals the same. And here’s the catch: this is the last time coastal protections will be decided on for the next ten years. 10% is a long way away from 30%, so we have to demonstrate a huge wave of public support to Governor Newsom for an increase in these protections.

Here’s how you can help: call, email, or send a letter to Governor Newsom’s office urging him to tell state agencies to increase protections this March, take photos with posters at the beach and post them on social media tagging Governor Newsom, write letters to the editor (like this one!) about why increasing marine protections is important to you, and, finally, spread the word. A huge wave of support requires a huge number of people, so get the word out however you can!

Dani Fenster, Pacific Palisades