After several years on the table, the draft management plan for
the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was released this
week. The several-thousand-page document – an update of the 1983
management plan – outlined 10 specific courses of action to protect
the 1,200-square-nautical-mile preserve surrounding the five
Channel Islands. Plans include education outreach programs, laws
against nonnative species introduction, oil drilling bans, and
multi-agency preparations and protocol for water-quality control.
Of particular note to local fishermen is the lack of any specific
language in the draft calling for an extension of the sanctuary
size. However, sanctuary officials said that additional marine
preserves are a possibility if and when funding is secured. A
public comment hearing on the proposed management plan is scheduled
for early next month in Santa Barbara.


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