Cargo ships, personal water vessels and aircraft are restricted from entry as a result of the ongoing expansion of the Gulf of the Farallones and the Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries off the coast of Northern California was effected on Tuesday. This activity has also cordoned off the areas to exploration of oil and gas.
The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary boundaries have increased more than two fold, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated, from west of Bodega Bay in Sonoma County to north of Point Arena in the Mendocino County.
The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is located 42 miles north of San Francisco and has expanded from 529 square miles to 1,286 square miles. Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary burgeoned from 1,282 square miles to 3,295 square miles of coastal water and ocean. All in all, the total ocean refuge for marine animals, officially elected as marine sanctuaries in 1981 and 1989, has a total coverage of 2,049 square miles.
The enlargement will help the region’s marine and coastal habitats, special ecological features and biological resource protection. John Armor, the acting director of the agency’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries said, “This expansion represents the culmination of a multi-year effort to protect an important part of the ocean.”
The newly called Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, declared as one in 1981, and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, declared in 1989, together contribute significantly to the management of the coasts and ocean by participating in public outreach and education, said the agency.
Although, commercial and recreational fishing within the sanctuary zones is not limited, despite the expansion, for the agency has no plans of regulating fishing.
But activities of other ocean users, like surfers who ride watercraft to reach offshore swells, excursion enterprises that use low-lying helicopters, small airplanes spotting whale migration, or shipwreck explorers will be curtailed. All water activities would be limited to certain areas only or forbidden without a permit.