Support SB 1447 - Pertaining to Artificial Reefs
The undersigned SUPPORT SB 1447, which would conform the definition of "artificial reef" in the California Fish and Game Code to that of the National Fisheries Enhancement Act of 1984 and the National Artificial Reefing Plan. This is necessary because the overlapping jurisdictions in the permitting of artificial reefs in California state waters make it imperative that all of the permitting agencies are talking about the same thing at the same time.
SB 1447 would also provide for a specific position to be named as State Artificial Reefing Coordinator, thus ensuring that one person would act as liaison between the federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to place artificial reefs. The public would thereby be assured that someone in state government was in charge of the process and accountable. Because some of the federal agencies will not deal directly with an NGO, it would also assure that the benefits of habitat improvement and fishing and diving tourism to the coastal economy which stem from artificial reefs can be realized in California.
Finally, SB 1447 would allow the Department of Fish and Game to charge a reasonable fee for their permitting activities, allowing the program to go forward, which it cannot now because California's artificial reefing program only exists on paper, with no funds and no personnel to carry out its mandated tasks.