NOAA Proposes to Designate Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

On August 25, 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register designating the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary in the waters along and offshore of the central California coast.

Specifically, NOAA proposes to include 5,617 square miles (mi2) (4,242 nmi2) of submerged lands and marine waters from Montaña de Oro State Park in San Luis Obispo County to Naples along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County within the boundaries of the proposed sanctuary.

NOAA has concluded that the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, with the only expected costs being $172 for entities seeking a general sanctuary permit.

NOAA is hosting two in-person public comment meetings on September 25, 2023 (in San Luis Obispo, CA) and September 27, 2023 (in Lompoc, CA) as well as a virtual public comment meeting on October 12, 2023.

Comments on the proposed rule are due October 25, 2023.