In April 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the creation of the Fort Ord National Monument. I was a key local leader in the effort to create the monument, held numerous meetings with federal officials to ensure this important designation took place and wrote letters of support to the President, the Department of the Interior and various other leaders and entities involved in its creation.
To underscore the importance of the Monument at the federal level, it was immediately visited by elected leaders such as Congressman Sam Farr and Barbara Boxer in addition to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar while he held office.
Seaside will ultimately be able to market to this tremendous new asset to promote tourism in the area. In effect, there is now an explicit federal nod to the environmental importance of our area beyond that of the previously existing National Marine Sanctuary.
Unfortunately, beyond a single page on the Cityâ€™s website, the Seaside City Council has officially declined to spend any money on promoting this community asset. Not even the most basic marketing materials have been created to promote the City and itâ€™s linkage to this federal bequest. There is no signage in Seaside, no brochures, no cooperative/cross marketing efforts with businesses which can increase visitor penetration into the area.
In short, without new direction from the council, the City will see no additional revenues from environmental tourism due to any effort of its own.