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NOAA Seeks Feedback on Proposed California Marine Sanctuary

NOAA announced on 9 November it is seeking public comment on the “first steps” of designating a new national marine sanctuary in a 7,000-square-mile area off the coast of  California.

The new area would be adjacent to California’s San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, according to NOAA.

“The designation of a Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would protect the region’s important marine ecosystem, maritime heritage resources, and cultural values of Indigenous communities, while allowing NOAA to manage compatible uses within its boundaries,” NOAA said.

NOAA is considering the area as part of its efforts to meet the directions of an executive order given by U.S. President Joe Biden in January, which called for agencies to “seek a holistic approach to curbing and building resilience to climate change and its impacts,” NOAA said. Part of that order was a “30 by 30” goal that calls for the protection of 30 percent of the U.S.’s lands and oceans to be protected by 2030.

According to NOAA, advancing the marine sanctuary – and wind energy development in the area – would demonstrate the “Biden-Harris administration’s commitments to these important and complementary goals.”


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