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Officials explore ocean of options

Alicia Robinson

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

Newport Beach.

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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.

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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

research.

“The workshop is intended to help us benefit from the

on-the-ground experience of members of the public, representatives of

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industry and academia,” Resources Department spokesman Brian Miller

said.

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

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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

State Park.

“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

https://www.resources.ca.gov. Comments can be submitted online through

the end of today.


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