Observers said the U.S. Senate this week is expected to approve a plan to protect 1,000 square miles off the California coast from oil drilling.
The bill, passed last week in the House, would expand the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries in northern California to cover ocean waters off a 76-mile stretch of Sonoma and Mendocino counties to protect fishing areas, migrating whales, seals, sharks and seabirds. The area lies within one of the richest marine feeding grounds in the world, the Christian Science Monitor said Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bipartisan bill is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fishermen, business developments groups and environmental advocates."
President George Bush is likely to sign the measure once it passes through the Senate, the newspaper said
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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