Here is the first part of the article from the Chronicle today.
House votes to protect coast from oil drilling
Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
(04-01) 04:00 PDT Washington --
California moved a step closer to permanently protecting its shores from offshore oil drilling Monday when the House approved legislation to ban development in federal waters along all 76 miles of Sonoma County's coastline and off the southern tip of Mendocino County's coast.
The measure would more than double the size of two existing National Marine Sanctuaries near San Francisco and Marin - Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank. The newly protected zone would stretch from Bodega Bay to Point Arena and would extend about 50 miles off the coast - 2,093 square nautical miles, an area roughly the size of Delaware.
Scientists say the expansion would protect the headwaters of one of the world's most productive ocean ecosystems, a nutrient-rich zone that is crucial to every marine species on the West Coast, from whales to sea lions to sea birds to salmon.
"These critical marine areas need our protection," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday, praising the effort to "preserve these areas and protect the diverse animal populations that reside in them."
The measure by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, had faced opposition last month from some Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, who warned that it would cut off access to potential future supplies of oil and gas. But the House passed it Monday on a voice vote without any fanfare.
And on it goes with good news for our beaches and the life of the sea.