House passes marine protection bill

March 21, 2008 10:48:09 AM PDT
A House of Representatives committee unanimously passed a bill today to protect the Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties' coastlines, Rep. Lynn Woolsey said this afternoon.

Woolsey, D-Petaluma, said the House Committee on Natural Resources passed the Gulf of Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries Protection and Modification Act.

Woolsey said her legislation would grant the waterways marine sanctuary status. The bill adds 1,740 square nautical miles to the Gulf of Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, extending them into deeper water and extending them to the coast of southern Mendocino County, Woolsey said.

"This proposal would double the size of the existing sanctuaries, protecting a unique area with tremendous biodiversity, and an area that is worth fighting for," Woolsey said.

Woolsey said the legislation also protects abundant bird and marine life, including endangered salmon, from pollution while protecting thousands of local jobs that depend on a clean and healthy environment.