Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

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December 20, 2012

Dan Byrnes (DC): 202-495-3039
Kathryn Phillips (CA): 916-893-8494

President Obama Expands Size of Protected California Coastline

Sacramento, CA -- Today, the White House announced that President Obama would add nearly 3,000 square miles to the National Marine Sanctuary system, more than doubling its size. This latest designation -- covering a stretch along the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts -- will protect this biologically rich area from offshore oil and gas drilling and allow for public uses, such as fishing. Sierra Club California has been working to protect this area for many years.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement:

"President Obama gave Californians and all Americans a tremendous gift today.  For decades, oil companies have threatened to expand their destructive drilling activities into sensitive coastal areas where fish and other wildlife thrive. Today's action puts one of the most ecologically important and sensitive coastal areas out of harm's way.

"The Mendocino and Sonoma coastline draws visitors from around the world because of its unspoiled beauty and restorative vistas. It’s an important part of California's economic engine, and it could have been wiped out by a single offshore oil spill. Now it’s safe, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Sen. Barbara Boxer and the President.

"The White House made this announcement on the heels of its decision yesterday to protect nearly 11 million acres of wildlife habitat in the western Arctic from destructive drilling. These actions are encouraging signs that President Obama will continue to protect and preserve America’s wild places during his second term."