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Federal agency opens public comment period for proposed Chumash Heritage Maritime Sanctuary

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. – On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened up a public comment period for the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The proposed marine sanctuary would create an approximately 7,760 square-mile federally protected area along the Central California coast depicted below.

Earlier this year, Congressman Carbajal joined twelve other members of California's Congressional delegation in a letter directed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that stated, "Designating this area as a marine sanctuary would ensure we continue to be good stewards of these natural resources, while maintaining sustainable access for commercial and recreational fishing.”

The public review portion of the designation process is open from now until Oct. 25 of this year through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at using the docket number NOAA-NOS-2021-0080.

Before those scheduled public comment meetings, NOAA is hosting in-person and virtual workshops to provide the public information about what is in the proposal as well as the process moving forward.

Details on these instructional workshops can be found here and are listed below:

  • Informational Workshop 1 will be in-person on Monday, Sep. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Grover Beach Community Center at 1230 Trouville Ave. in Grover Beach
  • Informational Workshop 2 will be in-person on Sep. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Vista Del Mar School Union building at 9467 San Julian Rd. in Gaviota
  • Information Workshop 3 will be online on Friday, Sep. 15 at 11 a.m. The video call link can be found here or you can dial in at (US) 1-929-336-0133 and use the PIN: 637 663 374#. If you are calling from outside of the United States, visit here and use the PIN listed at the top of that link

There will also be virtual and in-person public comment meetings that are detailed below:

  • Public Comment Meeting 1 will be in-person on Monday, Sep. 25 at 5 p.m. in the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors Hearing Room at 1055 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo
  • Public Comment Meeting 2 will be in-person on Wednesday, Sep. 27 at 5 p.m. at the Dick DeWees Community Center at 1120 West Ocean Ave. in Lompoc
  • Public Comment Meeting 3 will be virtual on Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. Registration for that meeting can be found at this link

If you would like to submit a written comment, you can mail your response to:

Paul Mitchell

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

99 Pacific St. Suite 100F

Monterey, Ca 93940

The process has been an ongoing series of starts and stops over the past few years and the next steps include processing those public comment results.

Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
Central California Coast
Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
marine protected area designation
Rep. Salud Carbajal
san luis obispo county
Santa Barbara

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