Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

Letter to NOAA

May 4, 2020

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) and the Indigenous Communities around the world are working to provide solutions to assist Grandmother Oceans in the ever expanding troubling challenges that we face today. NCTC would like to thank you (Mr. Douros) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for giving us the indigenous community the opportunity to offer our perspectives for the long life of Grandmother Oceans, current perspectives that make the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary even more important today.

An elder told me that when he was a young man the ocean’s fishing resources along the Chumash Nations coast were ten fingers thriving, almost the same as it was in the beginning. Now as he is old and seen many things he has said that “today it is only two finger thriving”, much different in less than one hundred years. In the last five years great pressure has been placed on the Chumash Nations coastline for offshore oil exploration and mining, whereby threatening the foundation of our great habitat and resources, that we have left, microbial life, plankton, micro animals, sea plants, fish, whales, dolphins, seals, shellfish, and much more. With a Marine Sanctuary, we can put a big no oil padlock on our sanctuary, so our great grandchildren will see the same wonderful viewscape and walk the same beautiful shores, as our ancestors and us today. With a sanctuary we the Chumash Nation and the local communities can work together to reverse the dwindling resources by coming up with solutions for acidification of our waters, climate change planning, purification of runoff waters, sewer outfalls, industrial dumping, fracking, offshore large vessels waste dumping, and much more. (See attached)

The Chumash Nation and all other Indigenous Communities are being pinched from every corner, we lose a piece here and a piece there, and piece by piece we are being slowly eaten up by the new world industrial society, making the Chumash Heritage Nation Marine Sanctuary even more urgent. For thousands of years, the Chumash Peoples lived out 3 to 13 miles away from the current coast, as the ocean was 300 feet lower. A magnificent history book is preserved under the water, and we need to protect this priceless resource, as we move into the future. Many new technologies are emerging to map and study the undersea resources, underwater archaeology is emerging with great possibilities, making this proposed marine sanctuary the most important proposed sanctuary in the U.S. today.

Fred Collins
Chairman NCTC

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