Environment & Science

Obama announces California Coastal National Monument expansion

California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Bureau of Land Management
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Piedras Blancas (San Luis Obispo County), a marine mammal research area and Native American cultural site, also famous for its historic lighthouse.
Mason Cummings/The Wilderness Society
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Piedras Blancas (San Luis Obispo County), a marine mammal research area and Native American cultural site, also famous for its historic lighthouse.
Mason Cummings/The Wilderness Society
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Cotoni-Coast Dairies (Santa Cruz County), home to Native American archaeological sites and rare species.
Mason Cummings/The Wilderness Society
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Piedras Blancas (San Luis Obispo County), a marine mammal research area and Native American cultural site, also famous for its historic lighthouse.
California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad.
Piedras Blancas (San Luis Obispo County), a marine mammal research area and Native American cultural site, also famous for its historic lighthouse.
Mason Cummings/The Wilderness Society


Among other national monument expansions, President Barack Obama announced Thursday the addition of 6,230 acres to the California Coastal National Monument, according to a release from the White House. That includes six additional coastal sites.

"Over the last 8 years, I have sought to work with local communities, Tribal governments, businesses, sportsmen, members of Congress and others to protect the most important public lands for the benefit of future generations," Obama said in a statement. "Today’s actions will help ensure that more of our country’s history will be preserved and celebrated, and that more of our outdoors will be protected for all to experience and enjoy."

The sites were proposed for protection in legislation introduced by members of the California congressional delegation in 2015, according to the statement. They add on to the monument that was originally designated in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. The monument was previously expanded by Obama in 2014, adding Mendocino County's Point-Arena-Stornetta.

Thursday's announcement also included three new national monuments related to the civil rights movement: the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument and Reconstruction Era National Monument. It also included the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwest Oregon and Northern California.

The Wilderness Society put out this video prior to the announcement, in support of the expansion:

Wilderness Society video