Chumash

marine_sanctuaryChumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal Presentations by Carol Georgi and Karl Kempton,

Former Energy Planner for San Luis Obispo County,

Lead Author of Proposed Central Coast National Marine Sanctuary, 1990

Introduction

Presentations for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal are being given by various leaders representing the Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC), the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club, the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the Marine Sanctuary Alliance, and other local, state, and national grassroots organizations.

Presentation at Ecosummit 2014 – Fred Collins, Tribal Administrator for the NCTC, presented the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal to the 2014 Ecosummit on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Grange Hall in San Luis Obispo, California.

KSBY TV presented coverage of Ecosummit 2014 in this video.

ecosloEcosummit is the yearly public meeting by The Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo (ECOSLO).

Mission Statement

ECOSLO strives to create and support resilient, healthy, natural systems and life styles in San Luis Obispo County.

The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal – The January 2014 Marine Sanctuary article in the SLO Coast Journal presents the description of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal. Fred Collins’ letter invites participation and gives an overview of the Chumash Sanctuary Proposal in the October 2013 SLO Coast Journal. Go to this link to view 122 slides in the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal powerpoint presentation created by various members of the Chumash Nation. (See: Chumash Marine Sanctuary.pdf)

Seven Core Areas of Importance in the Proposed Sanctuary

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary has seven significant core areas of importance.

In a national marine sanctuary, a core area is usually an internationally or nationally significant oceanographic and or ecological unit that needs primary protection and becomes the central focus of a sanctuary. Vital ecosystems supporting significant marine life are clear candidates for protection. Nationally significant historical and cultural features are also nominated for protection.

Within the proposed area of the marine sanctuary, Chumash underwater archaeological sites form Core Area 1, which overlaps all core areas and is therefore the main focus of this Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Proposal.

Core Area 1 – Chumash Submerged Sacred Sites

Coastline to – 400 feet offshore

core-area-map
Map by Karl Kempton

The importance of Chumash Heritage to National Marine Sanctuaries is discussed in our February 2014 SLO Coast Journal Marine Sanctuary article.

According to Karl Kempton, Chumash were competent and accomplished mariners. They used the sun, constellations, and the Pole Star to create complex solstice and stellar alignments only now being recovered. He now surmises that the Chumash ancient maritime navigation techniques most probably were the source of these land-based alignments. Many of these sites became submerged as the ice age melted into the present day. For more information on Karl’s research, please read these previous SLO Coast Journal articles: Yak Tityu Tityu, Northern Chumash, and the Chumash: A General Overview – Part One – August 2011; Yak Tityu Tityu, Northern Chumash, and the Chumash: A General Overview – Part Two Section A – September 2011; Yak Tityu Tityu, Northern Chumash, and the Chumash: A General Overview – Part Two Section B – October 2011

Conclusion

Chumash Heritage is important to the cultural history of California’s central coast because the Chumash thrived and lived in villages continuously for more than 10,000 years before drastic intervention occurred from outside invaders.

As the Channel Islands National Park states, “A true maritime culture, the Chumash hunted and gathered natural resources from both the ocean and the coastal mountains to maintain a highly developed way of life.”

Chumash Heritage cultural and historical information is being written by members of the Chumash Nation and will be presented in future articles.

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