U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both Democrats from California, on Wednesday introduced a bill that would expand the national monument — a protected stretch running offshore along the state's rugged coast — to include 6,200 acres of federally owned lands in San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Humboldt counties.
The new designations would give the areas added protections from development, ensure stronger protections for a diverse array of wildlife, help restore habitats and protect water quality and make them eligible for land and water conservation resources, the senators said in a joint news release.
Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, noted that she’s “particularly pleased that Senator Boxer's legislation would redesignate Piedras Blancas Light Station as a National Monument, an honor befitting this outstanding landmark, which is teeming with historic importance and natural beauty."
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The California Coastal National Monument, designated by President Clinton in 2000, stretches the entire 1,100 miles of California's coastline and protects more than 20,000 small islands, rocks and exposed reefs between Mexico and Oregon. It also protects the habitat for a variety of wildlife including seabirds, California sea lions and southern sea otters.
The monument was expanded in 2014 to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in Mendocino County.
Besides the Piedras Blancas Light Station, here are the other sites proposed to be added to the national monument: