It is the first onshore addition to the to the monument, established in 2000 by President Clinton to protect 20,000 small islands, reefs, rocks and pinnacles off California's coast.
The action, which would prohibit activities such as energy exploration, drew criticism from Rep.
Noting the Republican-controlled House last year easily passed the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act, Hastings said, "Instead of using imperial powers, the president should pick up the phone and call upon
"It is fitting that President Obama is following in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt in using the Antiquities Act — the same law used to protect the Grand Canyon and the
It is the 10th time Obama has used his executive power to establish or expand a national monument.
California’s Democratic Sens.
Huffman expressed hope the expansion would draw more visitors to the monument and boost the region's tourism economy.
The Point Arena-Stornetta lands provide important habitat for harbor seals, Steller sea lions and an occasional elephant seal, which visitors can catch sight of from the vantage of the terrace's western bluffs, according to the president's proclamation. The area also includes habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species including coho salmon, steelhead, the Point Arena mountain beaver, and the Behren's silverspot butterfly.
"I hope I get a chance to roam around this amazing landmark sometime in the future," Obama said.