Carozza Concerned About Baltimore Canyon Sanctuary Petition
Calls on Officials to Review Economic Impact, Oppose Designation
OCEAN CITY – Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (District 38C) today called on Maryland and Federal officials to review the economic impact of and oppose the proposed designation of the Baltimore Canyon as the country’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary.
In a letter to Governor Hogan and Maryland’s federal representatives, Carozza requested that officials review the negative economic impact such a designation would have on local fishing and boating industries and related businesses. Carozza is also concerned about the lack of public input on the petition to designate the Baltimore Canyon as a marine sanctuary, which is being led by representatives from the National Aquarium.
Delegate Carozza’s full letter addressed to Governor Hogan can be found attached to this release. The letter was also sent to Congressman Andy Harris and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.
Click READ MORE below to see the letter sent to Governor Hogan
November 22, 2016
The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.
Governor, State of Maryland
100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Governor Hogan:
On behalf of our local men and women involved in the fishing and boating sectors, I am writing to express our serious concerns and opposition to the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s petition to designate the Baltimore Canyon as the country’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary. I respectfully request your review of the negative economic impact of the designation on our local fishing and boating industries and related businesses, and your assistance in opposing the proposed designation.
The three offshore canyons that our local fishing communities primarily rely on are the Baltimore Canyon to the north, the Poor Man’s Canyon in the middle, and the Washington Canyon to the south. Should the Baltimore Canyon be designated as a marine sanctuary, the Regional Fishery Management Council of the U.S. Department of Commerce could limit, restrict, or prohibit fishing in the canyon. This means that the available fishing areas most relied upon by our offshore fishing fleet would be diminished by one third, which would be absolutely devastating to local fishing community.
Our local community is extremely concerned that the National Aquarium representatives appear to be moving forward with this petition without adequate public input to designate the Baltimore Canyon as a marine sanctuary without factoring in the economic impact on our local fishing and boating industries as well as our tourism-related businesses. Currently, there are many statutes and regulations pertaining to fishing the ocean that protect certain species of fish and underwater habitat. Additional regulations and prohibitions on fishing in this area of the ocean will have severe economic effects on our local fishing industry.
Local fishing and boating industries and related tourism-businesses have been strong economic drivers for the State of Maryland. With the designation of the White Marlin Capital of the World in 1939, Ocean City has seven active marinas which serve approximately 1,500 boats, and up to 3,000 boats depart the Ocean City Inlet for offshore fishing on a regular basis. Thousands of employees are employed at the local marinas and related businesses, and there are no less than 12 offshore fishing tournaments sponsored each summer with a combined purse of $8 million. Offshore fishing conservatively contributes $100 million annually to our local economy.
We appreciate your leadership in supporting our region’s fishing and boating industries, and urge you to help prevent the distressing economic effects that the proposed petition to designate the Baltimore Canyon as a marine sanctuary would have on our fishing and boating way of life.
MARY BETH CAROZZA