4th Grade Class Calls on State Legislators to End Driftnets Along California Coast

California Assemblymember Marc Levine Visits Class Today

Fairfax, Calif. (April 4, 2014) – Today students from teacher Laura Honda’s Fourth Grade at Manor School in Fairfax will present a stack of letters and drawings to Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) calling for an end to drifnets along the California coast. The students took action after hearing a presentation by Turtle Island Restoration Network on the need to end the indiscriminate capture and killing of marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and sharks, in mile-long drift gillnets off California’s coast. Assemblymember Levine is joint author of a new state bill that would end the use of driftnets, AB 2019. The first hearing on the bill is April 29 in Sacramento. 

“These engaged 4th graders realize that they can make a difference with their art and letters,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network in Olema, Calif. “Their voices will bolster support for legislation to protect ocean wildlife from capture in driftnets once and for all.”

On April 4, 2014 from 8:45 am to 9:15 am Assemblymember Levine visited Honda’s class at Manor Elementary School in Fairfax, Calif. to accept these handwritten letters and drawings from the students.  *Photos of the visit and copies of the artwork and letters will be made available to the media. Please email or call Joanna@SeaTurtles.Org to gain access to the photo gallery.

“I applaud Laura Honda’s class for speaking out on this issue and being involved in their government. These 4th graders and their teacher recognize how important it is to speak out and be heard. Together we will work to protect the environment and make gillnets illegal,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael).

Assemblymember Levine jointly authored the legislation (AB 2019) to save California’s coastal waters from the deadly driftnets with Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-San Jose). Other co-authors include Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) and Anthony Rendon (D- Lakewood).

AB 2019 proposes to:

  • Protect whales, dolphins, sea turtles and marine wildlife from needless death in wasteful driftnets,
  • End use of driftnet fishing gear,
  • Allow active CA swordfish fishermen to switch to lower bycatch fishing gears, and
  • Maintain prohibition on high bycatch pelagic longline gear along the California coast.