California Doubles the Size of Marine Sanctuaries, off Limits to Gas and Oil Exploration

Last Tuesday, California made a move to change cargo routes to increase the size marine sanctuaries. They also restricted gas or oil exploration in these areas.

Is the state preparing for the worsening climate conditions?  One study mentioned the damaging effect that the climate change might have on marine habitats. What ever the reason the state officials might have, this is a step on the right direction.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the size of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary have been at least doubled in their move to increase the protected areas.

Forty two miles away from San Francisco, the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary was expanded to 1,286 sq. mi. from 529 sq. mi. The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary also expanded to 3,295 sq. mi. from 1282 sq. mi.

These expansion are intended to protect the marine and coastal habitats in the region, along with their biological resources and special ecology. According to acting director of the agency’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries John Armor “This expansion represents the culmination of a multi-year effort to protect an important part of the ocean.”

These increases in marine protection does not present commercial or recreational fishing as the agency that imposed these new rules does not regulate those areas. However, surfers or tour companies better be on the lookout if they don’t have a permit.




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