January 8, 2007
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January 8, 2007

CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION SAFE COAST RESOLUTION

by Michael T. Hyson, Ph.D*., Star Newland**
* Research Director, Sirius Institute ** Founding Partner, Sirius Institute

To honor the United Nation’s initiative that resulted in their declaration of 2007 as “The Year of the Dolphin” the California Coastal Commission herein resolves that:

WHEREAS, California coastal waters are biologically unique and a number of endangered or threatened species either live in or traverse through the coastal area or depend on coastal waters for survival; and

WHEREAS, California maintains pristine natural areas and species there are precious and

WHEREAS, this region is home to many whales, dolphins, and other marine species and

WHEREAS, Grey whales migrate and others come here regularly to feed, and rest, and

WHEREAS, indigenous coastal people such as the Chumash preserved and honored the land, the sea and the people of the sea, the Cetacea in a tradition of thousands of years, and

WHEREAS, the California Coastal Commission recognizes humanity’s long term beneficial relationship with the Cetacea and the special bonds we all share with the People of the Sea and

WHEREAS, California supports environmental standards such as higher water quality to eliminate conditions hazardous to all species in coastal waters, and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Navy has been conducting mid-and low frequency active sonar tests that flood vast areas of the ocean with deafening noise, making them extremely harmful - even lethal - to whales and other marine life and

WHEREAS, since the Navy began conducting sonar experiments in the late 1980's, dozens of whales have fatally or near-fatally stranded themselves on beaches in the U.S., Canada, the Bahamas, the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean and other areas and

WHEREAS, these strandings constitute growing evidence suggesting that the Navy's and other sonar activities with both Low Frequency Active Sonar and Mid-Range Active Sonar may be to blame and

WHEREAS, that despite these dangers, the Navy is seeking approval of a training program, including the use of powerful explosives and sonar devices, to begin in February 2007 off of California's southern coastline and

WHEREAS these activities may be a substantial risk to the wellbeing of the Cetacea, and other creatures of the sea, and

WHEREAS, the California Coastal Commission opposes pollution or disruption of the ocean environment or the communicational sphere or society of the Cetacea, as well as other organisms and opposes the theft of acoustic bandwidth for commercial, military or research use; and instead supports maintenance of a clean and quiet ocean environment and availability of the acoustical ranges the Cetacea and other creatures require and

WHEREAS, dolphins and whales have brains in the human range of size or larger, and demonstrate self-awareness, language, tool use and cultural transmission across generations, which traits are shared only by humans and some great apes and the California Coastal Commission recognizes that the Cetacea are the first global society, antedating humans, and have lived in harmony with the ocean for millions of years and

WHEREAS, scientific reports and experience show that Cetacea are able to restore the wholeness, sanity and joy of humans, have assisted in the birth and restoration of children, and have been a delight to humanity across many ages and cultures, and

WHEREAS, there is now a clear opportunity to open full communication with the Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and initiate other worthy projects to integrate Cetacean and human culture and

WHEREAS, the growing interest in Cetaceans has led to whale watching and other related enterprises already estimated add up to $1 billion per annum worldwide to whale watching operations and their local communities, and is a major economic benefit to our economy and

WHEREAS, the California Coastal Commission recognizes dolphins and whales as a LIVING CULTURAL RESOURCE that benefits the tranquility, beauty and environmental health enjoyed by humans, and holds that their best, highest role is as a living cultural resource to be seen, listened to, communicated with and studied respectfully and harmoniously for what knowledge or wisdom they may impart; and

WHEREAS, the California Coastal Commission acknowledges surveys estimating that 90% of the American people support this view and advocate legal protection of dolphins and whales as individuals; and

WHEREAS, dolphin researcher Dr. John C. Lilly and others, including the Cetacean Commonwealth have proposed that the United Nations at last recognize the Cetacea as aware, intelligent, sentient beings entitled to our global protection and respect and who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as are human beings, and

WHEREAS, the City of Malibu, California has already declared its coastline a "shared human/Cetacean habitat" where the rights of the Cetaceans and the humans to a clean environment and proper treatment are already established, and WHEREAS, California can be a model for planet friendly communities everywhere, where people, Cetaceans, the Earth and nature are all honored,

THEREFORE we declare California and its coastlines are now officially recognized as a Human/Cetacean Community, a community shared between the Cetacea and humans and THAT the California coast is a sanctuary for the Cetacean cultures and the humans that choose to interact with them, and

THAT with this resolution we have begun the process of reconciliation with the Cetacea and have begun an era of increasing mutual understanding and respect for each other, NOW,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Coastal Commission, does hereby declare California a "Human-Cetacea Shared Environment" and resolve to consider the wellbeing of the local resident and migrant marine mammals and encourage continuing efforts in cooperation with governmental and civic organizations to improve the relationship between Human beings and Cetacea,

THAT the Cetacean and Human rights to a clean and protected environment shall be upheld and

THAT existing laws shall be administered in ways consistent with this resolution, that existing laws protecting our coasts, cultures, creatures and plants be properly administered, and that other legislation required to support the above goals be enacted.

WITH THIS RESOLUTION California will protect, restore, preserve and enhance the environment we mutually share with the Cetacea.

 

 

 

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