California Seeks to Tighten Coastal Protection

Friday, August 06, 2004
California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and EPA Secretary Terry Tamminen announced the release of the draft plan, California Ocean Resources Management: A Strategy for Action Plan prepared in response to Governor Schwarzenegger's June 4, 2004 directive for California to renew its longstanding commitment to protect and manage its ocean and coastal resources. Both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission have identified an emerging national crisis situation regarding this nation’s ocean and coastal resources.

“Today we are releasing a draft Action Plan for public review which suggests a bold new approach to protecting and managing California’s ocean and coastal resources,” said Secretary Chrisman. “ It proposes to establish a cabinet-level Ocean Council to conduct a top to bottom review of our ocean protection laws, evaluate the economic contribution of the ocean and coast to the state, establish a state ocean research strategy, and coordinate California’s approach to protecting and managing marine resources, coastal water quality, and even the sand on our beaches.”

"The Governor's directive specifies that this plan assess ocean strategy and indicate the important actions that can be taken by the Schwarzenegger administration and our partners in both the private sector and the environmental community,” said Secretary Tamminen. "The final Action Plan to protect our precious coastal resources will be on the Governor's desk by September 2."

Governor Schwarzenegger made his concerns known in his June 4, 2004 comments on the Preliminary Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy when he said this is a wake-up call, the oceans are in trouble and in need of help. In response to this need, actions must take place at the international, national, state, regional and local levels, as these issues are just as important globally as they are to the citizen trying to protect the waters off a local beach. The Governor’s comments were clear – action is needed to protect and manage our ocean and coastal resources.

The goals of this Action Plan for leadership are simple yet far reaching:

• Increase the abundance and diversity of aquatic life in California’s ocean, bays, estuaries, and coastal wetlands;

• Make the water in those bodies cleaner;

• Provide a marine and estuarine environment that Californians can productively use and safely enjoy; and

• Support ocean dependent economic activities. Two upcoming workshops, where public comment will be taken on the draft report are scheduled for:

August 19, 2004, 9:00 am, San Francisco Ferry Building, Port of San Francisco Commission Hearing Room, San Francisco, CA.

August 20, 2004, 9:00 am, Newport Beach City Hall, Council Chambers, Building A, 3300 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, CA.

Comments can also be submitted electronically to ORAPPublic@resources.ca.gov by the close of business on Friday, August 20. All comments received will be considered as we prepare the final report for the Governor.

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