We are on the brink of securing permanent protections for a biodiversity hotspot that stretches across 140 miles of California’s southern coast.
On Nov. 9, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it will begin the process of designating the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary status offers permanent protections from major threats, such as offshore drilling, for the vibrant ocean wildlife and sacred Chumash cultural sites located along this critical stretch of California’s coast. The designation would also better research and manage key ecosystems.
“Protecting the Chumash area and the creatures within it is the right thing to do,” said Laura Deehan, Environment California state director. “Safeguarding the biodiversity in this area helps species adapt to a warming ocean, and allows kelp and ocean plants to store carbon, mitigating climate change.”
In 2020, Environment California and our national network delivered 10,000 comments urging NOAA to grant the Chumash area sanctuary protections.
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Photo: Environment California Protect Our Oceans Campaign Associate Meghan Hurley speaking about the scientifically proven benefits of safeguarding marine spaces with Rep. Salud Carbajal and others. Credit: Staff