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The problem with stakeholders 

Former Morro Bay Mayor Janice Peters got it wrong in her suggestions for the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary ("Modified proposal," Jan. 27). The process most certainly does not need a stakeholders group. During the creation of marine protected areas along the California coast, I was proud to have played a small role, during which I watched the entire process be greatly hobbled by just what she now suggests for the sanctuary. Stakeholders tend to have widely divergent goals, and a sanctuary has only one—a return to health and abundance of the marine environment. During the marine protected area process, the stakeholders groups answered to the Blue Ribbon panel, which was chaired by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who just happened to also be president of Western States Petroleum. As such, she oversaw what did or did not get on the agenda. She deftly guided the process around the subject of offshore fracking, so we never did address that destructive process, only finding out about it after the marine protected areas were chosen and implemented. In other words, we were sabotaged. Janice Peters masqueraded as a conservationist even as she herself was the only vote against full secondary treatment of Morro Bay's sewage outfall effluent. She never met an industrial use of our near-shore waters she didn't like. The one thing our long awaited and much needed national marine sanctuary does not need is the bucket of political worms she suggests.

Joseph John Racano

director, Ocean Outfall Group

Los Osos

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