Marine sanctuary seeks comments
In a major victory for ocean protection activists, on Dec. 20 of last year, President Obama began the process of expanding the Gulf of Farallones/Cordell Banks Marine Sanctuaries northward 50 miles, putting a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling and other polluting activities in 2,771 square miles of some of the cleanest and richest food-producing ocean waters on Earth.
Fishermen and other environmentally-conscious people have worked for decades for this sanctuary expansion. It will protect several offshore areas, of interest to the petroleum industry, from drilling exploration or development. Sanctuary rules have been written with years of public meetings and review. The rules do not regulate fishing.
Please consider commenting in support of this sanctuary expansion by March 1. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) is holding three public hearings on the sanctuary expansion: Jan. 24 at the Bodega Bay Grange Hall; Feb.12 at the Gualala Community Center; and Feb. 13 at Point Arena High School, all at 6 p.m. The sanctuary expansion website, with a link to comment, is farallones.noaa.gov/manage/northern_area.html or comment directly here.