A vast pristine ocean area where some of the largest kelp beds in the world grow, numerous whale species swim and feed, sea otters frolic and giant Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtles glide through the clear waters. All currently protected by the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS).
But those protection’s could all change in the future because of a commitment by the current Presidential Administration to reduce in size or weaken protections for America’s national marine sanctuaries including CINMS off our coast. Our biggest concern is about any possible reduction in the current sanctuary boundaries to accommodate new oil platforms.
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is revising the management plan for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Public scoping is the first phase in the revision process, and the public can comment through November 15 on the scope of issues and programs to be considered within an updated plan. Comments may be submitted online, by mail, or in person at the public scoping meetings. Click Here for info on submitting comments.
We need to you submit comments and speak out at the two public meetings on the new CINMS management plan asking CINMS managers to keep the current boundaries or current protections of CINMS and to expand the current boundaries if possible.
Public comments now expressing desire to keep and expand the current boundaries may help with protections in the future. The best comments are when people can relate their personal experiences in the waters of the sanctuary such as whale watching, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The positive impact of the sanctuary on the local economy as a tourist destination is good to mention also.
The two public scoping meetings are scheduled for:
October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Faulkner Gallery at Santa Barbara Public Library
40 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
October 23, 6:00 P.M.
3451 Foothill Rd
Ventura, CA 93003
Thanks to Jim Hines with the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter for contributing to this blog post and for helping to protect the coast and ocean!