Commission votes to preserve wetlands and opposes offshore oil drilling

Apr 5, 2004 | Oil and Gas, Press Release

SACRAMENTO — The California State Lands Commission voted today to grant the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a lease for the construction of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Project. The project will restore 880 acres of oil fields to their natural wetlands habitat and will act as a haven to fish and wildlife. The restored wetlands will also serve as a recreation site for visitors and residents of Huntington Beach, California.

The Commission also voted to send a letter to President George W. Bush reiterating its position of support for a  moratorium on new oil and gas development off the coast of California.

“As Chair of the California State Lands Commission, I am committed to preserving our coastline and natural habitats for future generations,” Westly said. “Today’s votes are an important step in protecting California’s natural resources from the harmful effects of oil drilling.”

“This is Governor Schwarzenegger’s first official opportunity to lend his support for the restoration of the Bolsa Chica wetlands,” added Donna Arduin, Director of Finance. “I commend the collaboration of the eight State and Federal agencies that has brought about this restoration.”

And, the Commission announced the return of an oil and gas lease from Union Oil Company. The return of this lease will place 5,650 offshore acres at Point Conception in Santa Barbara County into California’s Marine Sanctuary guaranteeing that no further oil and gas development may occur.

“This is another step taken by the State Lands Commission to protect California from offshore oil and gas development,” said Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante. “I look forward to the day when the California coast will be free from all such development.”

In addition to these votes, the Commission announced the lease of a state-owned beach to the city of San Clemente. The lease is for the construction and maintenance of a public beach facility that will use an existing railroad under-crossing to provide wheelchair access to the beach.

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Lorena Gonzalez | 916.445.8994
Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Laura Adleman | 916.445.2636
Office of the State Controller

H.D. Palmer | 916.445.4141
Department of Finance