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City Park Marine Reserves Rule
The “City Park Marine Reserve” protection builds upon years of work done by the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project, King County Water and Land Resources and the Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Parks and recreation. Work to explore opportunities for further protecting marine habitat began in 1990 and was intended to address overharvesting of marine resources in our City Parks. In addition to these efforts, the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources - Aquatics Land Division worked with the City of Seattle to extend our Marine Reserve areas into the subtidal areas. We are now able to further protect park sites along Puget Sound.
City Park Marine Reserves are located in the marine and intertidal areas within certain portions of Golden Gardens Park, Carkeek Park, South Alki/Richey Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, Schmitz Viewpoint and Discovery Park.
Although many of the activities prohibited in a Marine Reserve are already unlawful in a City park, this rule specifically designates City of Seattle park sites along Puget Sound as Marine Reserves and as such prohibits taking of shellfish, capturing of any wildlife species and otherwise damaging or destroying submerged or intertidal lands within our parks. This rule gives us an opportunity to highlight the importance of our critical marine habitat and further educate people about activities that are prohibited in these designated areas.
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Updated January 30, 2013
New State Marine Protected Areas in SeattleOn April 7, after two years of effort, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission formally adopted marine protected status of the intertidal at all six Seattle marine reserves. This commission decision came after two public hearings in 2004 and 2005, with strong support from People for Puget Sound, Seattle Aquarium staff and Beach Naturalist volunteers.
About 50% of each of the following beaches are now set aside by the city and the state as no-harvest reserves (except for hook and line fin-fishing): Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, Discovery Park, South Alki/Richey Viewpoint, Schmitz Memorial /Me-Kwa-Mooks and Lincoln Park. Total amount of protected interidal is about 108 acres.
The benefit of the state adoption of these new "Marine Preserves" is threefold:
Education - inclusion in the state fish/shellfish pamphlet so people know of the closure
Consistency of messages - potential harvesters were confused when collection was closed by the city but not the state
Enforcement - now harvesting from the reserves is a state misdemeanor and citizens can report violations to the state patrol for enforcement. Prior to this, city enforcement on reserves meant city police could only remove a person from the beach.
This culminates 13 years to get city MPA status and another 2 for state action. Commissioners at both hearings had high praise for the role the Aquarium played in working with state government on securing these conservation areas, and educating people about them and the resources found here. This process - and it's success - was held up as a model to be replicated elsewhere for resolving multi-jursidictional natural resource management matters.
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