A plan that seeks to better protect and manage the state's coastal
waters will be up for public scrutiny today as state officials visit
State Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Terry Tamminen
will be in town to solicit public input on a draft of a plan to
streamline the management of fisheries, marine-protected areas, water
quality, erosion and coastal development.
The coastal strategy, created by Tamminen and state Resources
Secretary Mike Chrisman, recommends changes that include creating a
state cabinet-level ocean council to coordinate ocean management,
seeking support and funding at the federal level for ocean-protection
initiatives and developing a statewide strategy for ocean and coastal
"The workshop is intended to help us benefit from the
on-the-ground experience of members of the public, representatives of
industry and academia," Resources Department spokesman Brian Miller
Officials developed the plan in response to a directive from Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger to address the state's ocean and coastal
resources strategy, Miller said. Public input from today's meeting
and one held Thursday in San Francisco will be incorporated into the
plan, which will be submitted to the governor by Sept. 2.
The actions suggested in the plan, ranging from making
water-quality improvements to protecting marine life, would directly
affect Newport Beach, Assistant City Manager Dave Kiff said.
"We have an interest in each one of those areas, and as long as
California is known for having clean waters and a healthy ecosystem
out there, it's vital to our economic prosperity and that of the
whole state, obviously," he said.
More than a third of the California coastline belongs to the
state's residents as public parkland, and clean water is important to
the parkland's value, said Ken Kramer, superintendent of Crystal Cove
"Any policy allowing more effective coordination between
government and private entities will help," he said.
The public meeting on the draft ocean plan is scheduled for 9 a.m.
today in City Council chambers at Newport Beach City Hall, 3300
Newport Blvd. The plan can be viewed online at
http://www.resources.ca.gov. Comments can be submitted online through
the end of today.