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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Panel Presents 2 Approaches to Marine Life Protection

August 17, 2000

VENTURA COUNTY — After more than a year of study, a citizens advisory panel deadlocked Wednesday over two competing visions for managing waters rich in marine life that surround the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is the first of a dozen ocean sanctuaries nationwide to undergo boundary revisions attempting to balance the protection of marine life with economic concerns.

Although the 20-member panel agreed to recommend expanded protection for the existing 1,253-square-mile sanctuary, it offered federal managers of those waters divided suggestions on how to proceed.

One recommendation calls for tripling the size of the sanctuary to reach beaches between Santa Maria and Goleta.

Eleven new regulations would apply to those waters, potentially affecting personal watercraft, aquaculture farms, offshore oil drilling, shipping and noise-producing activities.

That plan was endorsed by environmental advocates after the panel rejected a more ambitious proposal that would have extended the marine sanctuary to virtually all the beaches, harbors and estuaries of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

"The mission is to preserve the ocean," said advisory council member Dan Secord, a Santa Barbara councilman. "We already have six or so governmental entities that regulate the shore. We don't need any more than we already have."

The panel also voted to endorse one of the least restrictive options, recommending a proposal to expand the marine sanctuary boundaries by about 13%.

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