Capps wants to protect coastal areas from development

Rep. Lois Capps has proposed legislation that would establish a new federal program to protect coastal areas from development.

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Act would provide coastal states with matching funds to purchase outright or acquire conservation easements on coastal property. Acquired land would not be owned by the federal government and federal matching funds would not exceed 75 percent.

Capps, a Santa Barbara Democrat, proposed the legislation with Rep. Jim Saxton, a Republican from New Jersey. The program would be managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A similar program with NOAA has protected several parcels on the Central Coast including land at Morro Bay and Piedras Blancas.

“Not only will this legislation protect our coastal areas and the wildlife they support, but also sustain the health of our communities and quality of life we cherish on the Central Coast,” said Capps.

-David Sneed