For Release: May 11, 2002 CCNM -01-02
Contact: Rick Hanks (831) 372-6115; Larry Mercer (661) 391-6010; Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
BLM AND PARTNERS DEDICATE CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT
Pledging to improve protection for California's unique coastal natural resources, a group of government and private organizations today dedicated the California Coastal National Monument.
In a ceremony at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, speakers said the new national monument will provide the opportunity for agencies and the public to cooperate in protecting fragile resources of the coastline. The federally designated monument includes the rocks, islands, exposed reefs and pinnacles stretching the length of the coast, up to 12 nautical miles offshore.
Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) was keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony. The Congressman has long-standing interest in coastal issues, and has worked for years to assure protection of the rocks and islands.
Jim Abbott, BLM's associate state director for California, said the monument is an opportunity for BLM and its partners to integrate management of the offshore rocks and islands with the natural resources along the coastline. He said the BLM and the monument partners will work closely with the public to develop a management plan.
BLM California Coastal Monument Manager Rick Hanks said the BLM, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation are the primary agencies responsible for monument management. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes Bird Observatory also intend to participate, and other partners will be added in the future.
The monument was created through a Presidential proclamation that recognized the importance of the rocks, islands, reefs and pinnacles in providing habitat where seabirds, seals and sea lions find protection from predators and humans. The proclamation also recognized the significance of the geology and archaeological resources.
Management and protection provisions will be determined through a management process that will depend heavily on public participation, Hanks said. The first opportunities for public participation will come this summer, when the monument partners hold a series of public meetings in coastal cities along the entire length of the coast. During these meetings, anyone interested can provide information on the kinds of issues that should be addressed in the management plan. Information on meeting locations will be announced during the summer.
California Coastal National Monument, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940