President Barack Obama on Tuesday will use his executive powers to expand the California Coastal National Monument by adding the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands on the Mendocino County coast.
The order will add 1,665 acres of federal land north of the town of Point Arena to the monument, which was established in 2000. Managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, the new acreage includes the area where the Garcia River enters the Pacific Ocean. This will be the first onshore land to be included in the monument.
The monument was set aside to protect the numerous islands and reefs that hug the California coastline for 1,100 miles and to protect marine life habitats.
Sen. Barbara Boxer—who twice introduced a bill to add the Point Arena-Stornetta land to the monument—lauded the president’s decision.
“Expanding this monument will not only help preserve this sensitive coastal area and protect marine life along the coast, it will also boost the tourism economy in Mendocino County, which supports 5,000 jobs,” Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Obama signaled earlier this year that he would not wait for Congress to set aside or protect sensitive landscapes. By invoking the Antiquities Act the president may bypass lawmakers. It is the 10th time Obama has used the executive power to establish a national monument.