LA City Council declares support for Chumash National Marine Sanctuary

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council today declared its support for a national marine sanctuary along California’s central coast proposed by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council.

The Chumash National Heritage Marine Sanctuary was proposed in 2015 and the Biden administration moved the proposal forward in November, according to the council’s resolution, which called it a ‘monumental milestone in a more than 40-year effort to preserve the sacred cultural sites of Chumash, unique coastal waters and biodiversity hotspots along California’s central coast.”

According to its website, the sanctuary would preserve marine and cultural resources along 156 miles of the coast and protect the area from offshore oil expansion. He also estimates that it would generate $23 million in economic activity and create 600 jobs.

The resolution declaring the city’s support for the designation was introduced by Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz last month and passed by City Council on Tuesday 14-0, in the absence of Councilman John Lee.

“Our waters, our beaches and our biodiversity are what make Los Angeles and all of Southern California unique and beautiful. We must do all we can to protect these local ecosystems, and we urge the federal government to approve this groundbreaking Chumash proposal,’ O’Farrell said.

The resolution also calls on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to enact sanctuary regulations to aggressively protect wildlife, water quality and cultural values ​​— and for regulations to prohibit new oil and gas development. offshore or deep sea mining, phase out existing fossil fuel infrastructure and leases, and develop programs to reduce pollution from land and ocean sources.

Additionally, it calls for co-management of the sanctuary by the Chumash tribe and the development of research programs that address the impact of climate change and educational programs focusing on ocean ecology and tribal culture.

‘It makes fiscal and environmental sense to protect California’s coastal waters, which attract millions of tourists each year. Marine protected areas have shown time and time again that giving nature a breather can have a tremendously beneficial healing effect on underwater biodiversity, Koretz said. “We must prioritize the protection of native flora, fauna, and cultures, as they are all vital to the future of California.”

The National Marine Sanctuary Program was established in 1977 to designate marine areas as sanctuaries, promote conservation, research and more.

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