In the August 11 (Vol. 4, Issue 15) edition of the Estero Bay News, on page 18, one will find interesting comments regarding a voter approved initiative authored by Ed Ewing and Joe Giannini, and passed by a vote of Morro Bay residents in the early 1980’s — Measure D.
Without quoting the Measure, which is simple to read and even easier to understand, it protects North of Beach Street and West of the Embarcadero from “waterfront creep.” The “creep” that we have all witnessed in coastal communities is when tourism displaces and overruns traditional and historic infrastructure.
Existing business were grandfathered in when Measure D passed but anything not to do with the fishing community was to be forbidden.
I knew the authors as many of you did and their vision and wisdom wasn’t just about preserving an area on the Embarcadero for the fishing industry. It was also designed to preserve a place on the waterfront where even non-fishers, both residents and visitors alike, could have the pleasure of visiting and enjoying without the usual tourist activities.
I understand the need of the city to massage and apply Measure D with a liberal touch of free enterprise but how does a gift shop and a scooter rental shop fit into any stretch of Measure D and it’s intent?
Exceptions lead to exceptions and then exceptions become the rule, and now Offshore Wind may just be the deathblow that some in the city would like to see for Measure D. The city knows there is more money in supporting Offshore Wind than supporting fishers.
The article states that Morro Bay “USED” to pride itself on being a “working waterfront.” It also goes on to say that Measure D “doesn’t do a thing to save commercial fishing,” the fishing industry is a “shell” of it’s former shelf, and we are a “ghost town” because there are no more “trawlers stacked on the piers.” Is fishing doomed as many think? If the city creates the narrative does that mean it will become reality? Is that their hope? If fishers are gone does it get easier to accomplish what the privileged few at the top of the heap want?
Yes, the fishing business is different from what it once was but ALL food producers in California as well as the United States are different. Fishers have had to change but have survived and until Measure D is appealed by the voters, or NOT, then at least the spirit of Measure D should be embraced.
Beware of the money Offshore Wind brings to Morro Bay. They have a war chest full of it and they are and will use it to influence our community, making changes many of us will not like the looks of.
F.V. Bonnie Marietta
Director, Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization.