Federal law funds state coastal improvement projects

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A file photo of barriers warning people to stay away from a drainage that carries dangerous levels of bacteria into the ocean south of Will Rogers State Beach, north of Santa Monica, California.

Proceeds from federal oil and gas revenues will generate almost $25 million for environmental improvements for California and 17 of its counties along the coast. The Coastal Impact Assistance Program allocates $1 billion to six states in which oil and gas operations have harmed the environment.

Walter Cruickshank, acting chief of the federal Minerals Management Service, says one goal is to preserve marine resources.

Walter Cruickshank: "This program recognizes California’s significant contributions to the nation in the area of federal energy production. Since 1970 federal leases off shore California have yielded 1.1 billion barrels of oil and over 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas."

In Los Angeles and Orange Counties, projects include trash cleanup in Newport Bay and water quality enhancement in Marina del Rey.

Cruickshank says federal managers are working with California to develop renewable energy in coastal waters. Pilot projects for wind and wave energy are underway in the northern part of the state.

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