"Review" of National Marine Sanctuaries Revives Threats of Offshore Oil Drilling

Jul 13, 2017

The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary was expanded to Point Arena in 2015, and is now under "review" that could eliminate prohibitions on offshore oil drilling.
Credit Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

In the 1980s, Northern Californians won a hard-fought battle over offshore oil drilling along our coast. And though we thought national marine sanctuaries protected these areas forever, the federal government is trying to weaken or eliminate sanctuaries established or expanded in the last 10 years.  My guest, Jennifer Savage, is California Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation, one of the grassroots non-profits leading the resistance to the Trump Administration’s current efforts to expand offshore oil drilling off the coast of California and elsewhere.


In April, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing a “review” of National Marine Sanctuaries and National Monuments designated or expanded in the last 10 years – the first time in history a president has proposed rollbacks of these protected areas. The order’s goal is to open new areas to oil, gas, and mineral extraction. One of the marine sanctuaries targeted is the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, which prohibits drilling off the coast from San Francisco to Point Arena in Mendocino County.

NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is accepting comments through July 26 on the so-called “review” of four California National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Cordell Bank, and Greater Farallones) and many others in the South Pacific, North Atlantic, and Great Lakes.

To take action, visit SaveOurMarineSanctuaries.org.

For more info:

Opinion: Speak up to stop Trump plan to drill off California’s coast

Trump order that could shrink California and Pacific Ocean marine sanctuaries moves forward

Campaign seeks to defend California marine sanctuaries in face of Trump energy order