In a win in the fight against climate change, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris’ bill to expand critical coastal restoration work passed through the Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee with unanimous support. AB 63 permits restoration in marine conservation areas, expanding opportunities for marine life restoration projects that reduce the effects of climate change and human impacts like oil spills and overfishing.
“Restoration is a vital part of our strategy to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, but leading marine restoration experts have been stymied by a gap in our current law,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “AB 63 will permit marine habitat restoration in currently restricted areas and protect the California coast.”
California’s coastal waters are home to animals and plants that play a critical role in the biodiversity needed to sustain a healthy ocean and planet. California’s iconic kelp forests are home to more than 800 species and play a crucial role supporting wildlife, protecting our coastline from erosion, absorbing carbon dioxide, creating oxygen, and providing for many of the 1.035 million jobs fueling California’s Ocean Economy. According to UC San Diego, 90% of bull kelp has been lost due to rising sea temperatures in Northern California. Restoration is a critical tool to be able to respond to changes such as these and more.
“Get Inspired has been dedicated to ocean restoration projects since 2009. We have been restoring the kelp forests and other species that are in decline with the help of thousands of students and volunteers,” said Nancy Caruso, Marine Biologist and Founder of Get Inspired, Inc. “We are so grateful for the support of Assemblywoman Petrie Norris, her work for the ocean and our environment is tireless and appreciated.”
By permitting restoration in marine conservation areas, AB 63 provides for the maintenance and enhancement of our marine fisheries and habitats, increasing the health of our communities, our oceans and our planet.
AB 63 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations later this Summer.
AB 63 is supported by American Cetacean Society-Orange County, Blue Endeavors, California Aquaculture Association, California Watershed Network, Get Inspired, Inc., HoldFast Aquaculture LLC, Ocean Defenders Alliance, One World One Ocean Campaign, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Save Our Shores, Sierra Club California, Spark Joy Foundation and Wholly H2O.