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03/11/2014

Celebrate! Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands Added to the California Coastal National Monument

Stornetta.Par.69962.Image.375.281.1_BLMPhoto courtesy Bureau of Land Management

Today, President Obama took the significant step of designating Point Arena - Stornetta Public Lands as part of the California Coastal National Monument. Located along the south coast of California’s Mendocino County, these public lands include 1,665 acres of majestic views, tide pools, and coastal wetlands that are home to an abundance of sea mammals, sea birds, and abalone. The designation marks the first expansion onto land for the California Coastal National Monument which stretches along 1,100 miles of California’s coast.

Adjacent to Manchester State Beach and the Point Arena Lighthouse, the Point Arena - Stornetta Public Lands area includes more than two miles of coastline, portions of the Garcia River, the Garcia estuary and a five-acre island—Sea Island Rocks. Its wildflower meadows and shifting sand dunes provide a home for otters, seals, pelicans and a host of other wildlife. The area is vital habitat for migratory birds, salmon, and several endangered species including the Point Arena mountain beaver and the Behren's silverspot butterfly.

The area is also a tremendously popular tourist draw. Thousands of people visit the area every year to watch wildlife, fish, and hike-- and in doing so contribute to California’s booming outdoor recreation economy. Today's designation ensures that local communities will continue to benefit as more people visit the area.

Just last month, I had the opportunity to visit Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands with my wife as we were driving north on Highway One from San Francisco. At that time, Sierra Club activists, business owners, and community leaders were all busy organizing to protect this special and rugged place for future generations. As we stood on those bluffs and watched the waves crash below us, we understood why those people had been pushing for years to permanently protect this unique place. And now, less than a month later,  thanks to the help of California Congressmen Huffman and Thompson, as well as Senators Boxer and Feinstein, their efforts have proven fruitful.

Please join me in thanking President Obama for responding to the widespread desire among Americans by permanently protecting our outdoor heritage for future generations.

-- Dan Chu, Senior Director, Our Wild America campaign 


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