Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Biden administration released a proposal to designate 134 miles of the central California coast as the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. The designation would safeguard this unique and irreplaceable ecosystem from offshore oil expansion, acoustic testing, and other threats, while generating an estimated $23 million in economic activity and 600 new jobs for the local community. In response, Angelo Villagomez, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
As a proud Chamorro from the Northern Mariana Islands, I understand the importance of elevating Indigenous perspectives and values in ocean conservation. The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would set a new standard for inclusive and collaborative partnerships between federal, state, and local governments, and California Native American Tribes. This will also contribute to the global goal of protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration must now expedite the designation process and ensure that the voices of the Chumash and other Indigenous people are respected.
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