Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sonoma and Marin coastline may be given added protection for ecology

DOWNLOAD the Citizens Guide to Expanding our Marine Sanctuaries [http://sanctuaryexpansion.org/docs/AAASanctuaryCitizensGuideForDownload.pdf]

"Permanent Protection for Our Coastlines is Within Reach"
2014-05-27 for the "Sonoma County Gazette" [http://www.sonomacountygazette.com/cms/pages/sonoma-county-news-article-2715.html]:
You suddenly have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure permanent protection for one of the most iconic and sensitive portions of the California coast. The spectacular beauty of our coastline between Bodega Bay and Pt. Arena attracts millions of visitors and is the centerpiece of our regional economy, but it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye that makes this place so special.
In this region, one of the four most productive ocean upwelling systems on the planet brings nutrient-rich waters from the depths. Seasonal surface currents and prevailing winds carry this rich food source southward to provide the base of the marine food chain for an abundance of aquatic and avian life extending at least as far south as the Monterey Canyon. This region embraces a globally significant, extraordinarily diverse, and productive marine ecosystem that supports thriving wildlife and valuable fisheries. It provides breeding and feeding grounds for at least twenty-five endangered or threatened species; thirty-six marine mammal species, including blue, gray, and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the southernmost U.S. populations of threatened Steller sea lions, plus over a quarter-million breeding seabirds, and one of the most significant white shark populations on the planet.
A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) laying out the new expansion of these existing National Marine Sanctuaries by extending their collective northern boundary northward from Bodega Bay to Pt. Arena has just been released for public review. This long-sought protection has been previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and remained in play during the 2012 session of the U.S. Senate. Pursued for many years in a bipartisan effort by affected local elected officials and our Representatives and Senators in Congress, this is an outcome that will permanently prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling and establish rules for sewage dumping from cruise ships on the entire Sonoma Coast and on the Southern Mendocino Coast.
Now is your chance to protect our regional economy, our sustainable fisheries, and this valued national treasure by attending one of the four upcoming local public hearings in our area. Your support and any specific comments you might have on ways to improve the details of this plan are critical, and your own participation in extending this vital protection to key new coastal waters is vital at this time

Sonoma and Mendocino Coast Marine Sanctuary Permanent Protection Public Hearings:
* June 16, 2014, Point Arena, 6 pm-Point Arena City Hall, 451 School Street, Point Arena, CA 95468
* June 17, 2014, Gualala, 6 pm-Gualala Community Center, 47950 Center Street, Gualala, CA 95445
* June 18, 2014, Bodega Bay, 6 pm-Grange Hall, 1370 Bodega Avenue, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Written comments will be accepted until June 30, 2014, and should be sent to: Maria Brown, Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive-The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.

Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
Online clickthrough web URL for comments [http://www.regulations.gov]
(Please note that commentor’s names and any contact information provided are publicly accessible to individuals wanting to view the comments.)

By U.S. Mail:
Ms. Maria Brown, Sanctuary Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129

Sonoma and Mendocino Coast Marine Sanctuary map

Salt Point Gerstle Grove Sonoma Coast

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