"California’s Marine Sanctuaries May Face New Drilling Threat"

"The same communities that fought for decades to protect California’s coast from offshore oil drilling have renewed their battle calls as the Trump administration considers opening 3,500 square miles of state waters to energy development.

Residents and local leaders from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, backed by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris as well as Gov. Jerry Brown, are waging a statewide campaign to halt any downsizing of 11 national marine sanctuaries and monuments, including four in California.

At President Trump’s order, the Department of Commerce is re-evaluating the sanctuary status of areas granted protection within the past decade under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.The review, part of a broader effort launched in April to open more of the ocean to oil and gas drilling, covers California’s recent sanctuary expansions near the Channel Islands, Big Sur and Sonoma and Mendocino counties — home to endangered whales, rare seabirds, ancient corals and other curious sea creatures."

Kurtis Alexander reports for the San Francisco Chronicle July 26, 2017.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 07/27/2017