Mostly clear

Feds open to expanding oil-drilling protection for North Coast

Federal officials say they are open to suggestions from the public that more of the North Coast should be protected from offshore oil drilling under a proposed expansion of two marine sanctuaries.

"We want to know the scope of the area we should be looking at," said Maria Brown, superintendent of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

Brown and other sanctuary officials will attend the second of three public meetings on the sanctuary plan at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Point Arena, followed by the third meeting Wednesday in Gualala.

Officials are interested in the "boundary options" people might propose, as well as any "additional regulations" in the protected areas, Brown said.

Rachel Binah of Little River in Mendocino County, a longtime foe of offshore oil development, said the sanctuaries should extend to the Oregon border or beyond.

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